Sunday Edition: Chocolate Biscotti
If you are unfamiliar with biscotti it is a twice-baked cookie consisting of mainly flour. sugar, and eggs. The first baking is done in a loaf form while the second baking is done after slicing the loaf. The result is a hard crunchy rectangle that is perfect for dunking in a cup of coffee (my preference) or glass of wine. This helps moisten the cookie and makes it easier to bite while also enhancing the different flavors.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped almonds, blanched or unblanched
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
sugar, for dusting
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes; the mixture may be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes; don't worry if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate, then turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead in any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into 12 inch long logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand so that they are 1/2 to 1 inch high, about 2 inches across and sort of rectangular, then carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each log with a little sugar.
Bake the logs for about 25 minutes, or until they are just slightly firm. The logs will spread and crack - and that's just fine. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, put it on a cooling rack and cool the logs for about 20 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
Working with one log at a time, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. Stand the slices up on the baking sheet - you'll have an army of biscotti - and bake the cookies again, this time for just 10 minutes.
Transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool.