09 April 2007

it was the baking fairy, I swear!

You'd think, after all that cooking for the Easter Feast, that I would have been entirely cooked out. But no -- I was inspired!

I was ruminating on the leftovers of our culinary foolhardiness adventure, and lo, I thought of something interesting to do with them!

Why, I thought to myself, there's cocoa powder, and there's hazelnuts. Didn't I see a recipe three years ago that I could adapt to this? And the idea was born. I thought for a while -- do I really want to do this? After all that cooking?

And several hours of dithering later, I finally committed to it! Out comes the flour and the sugar bins, the cocoa powder and the hazelnuts. Do I have enough of everything? Chocolate chips? Check. Eggs? Check. Confectioners' sugar? Check. Haul out the Kitchen Aid. Whisk or paddle? Paddle. Spend several minutes learning how to operate said machine.

Now: measuring cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, ramekins for mis en place. And here we go!

Double Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
Makes about 1 dozen

1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ c unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 tbs unsalted butter, softened
½ c granulated sugar
1 large eggs
½ c hazelnuts, chopped
½ c semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp confectioners’ sugar

Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a large baking sheet, knocking off excess flour. (Or use a silpat.)

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and granulated sugar ina large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add egg and beat until well combined. Stir in flour mixture; dough will be stiff.

Stir in hazelnuts and chocolate chips with a strong spoon. Spoon out onto a large piece of saran wrap. Fold the plastic wrap over the dough and begin to shape into a slightly flattened 12x2-inch log. Turn over onto the baking sheet (or silpat). Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Bake until slightly firm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Cool log on baking sheet on a rack for 5 minutes, leaving oven on.

Transfer log to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut diagonally into ¾-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices cut side down in one layer on a baking sheet (it’s fine if slices are touching). Bake until crisp, 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

Nota bene:
The biscotti keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Adaptation based on a recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook.