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Archive for March 3rd, 2008

A brief hiatus

I’ll be away for the remainder of this week, and will rejoin my kitchen and my blog next Monday.

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Biscotti have become a family fav dessert around here, and I just love trying new variations on a theme. Here, I mixed in chopped toasted nuts with chocolate chips and coffee, to create a sensational and irresistible nibble (or two) for dessert. Enjoy!

Chocolate chip cappuccino biscotti

1 cup chopped walnuts (or almonds, or hazelnuts – you choose)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons powdered coffee (instant or regular)

5 tablespoons margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 large egg white, lightly beaten, with 1 teaspoon water

2 tablespoons sugar, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast until aromatic and lightly browned (about 6-8 minutes). Remove from the oven, and turn down the heat to 350 degrees F.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and coffee into a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, place the sugar and margarine, and cream together until blended and light. Add the vanilla and mix in. Add the eggs and mix until just combined. On low speed, mix in the flour mixture. Add the chocolate chips and nuts by hand.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and divide into 2 equal halves. Flour your hands and shape each half into a loaf with the approximate dimensions of 9″ length by 3″ width and 1″ height. Carefully place each loaf onto a greased baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between loaves. Bake until lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place the sheet on a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes.

Next, transfer the loaves to a cutting board, lifting carefully to avoid breakage and crumbling. Clean and regrease your baking sheet. Brush each loaf with the egg wash and sprinkle each loaf with the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Then cut each loaf cross-wise on the diagonal, about 1/2″ per slice (each loaf yields about 12 slices). Place each slice on its side on the baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 7 minutes. Then turn each slice over to the over side, and bake for approximately 4 more minutes, so that the biscotti look golden. Remove from oven and cool. Makes 24 biscotti.

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