Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Good Batch...no it's not a typo

Somehow, it seems more appropriate to talk holiday cookies instead of politics. I'm not sure why? Maybe the snow. Maybe it's the yawn inducing news.

I'll get back to politics & policy when the lobby wraps up their pre-session PR blitz and the pols that matter (who really wants to talk about Larry McKibben?) start to stake out their election-year session fun & games.

From the December 1994 issue of Gourmet magazine, via Epicurious.com, comes my very favorite holiday cookie. I gave up the multiple cookie-making thing years ago and I just work on making gobs of these biscotti.

They're not too sweet and work well with hot chocolate or coffee, in fact, you almost need something to dip them in to avoid chipping a tooth -- okay that probably means I'm not cutting the slices thin enough or I’m cooking the slices too long. Anyway, they're easy to make and slightly different from the standard holiday cookie.

Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

Unlike most commercially available chocolate biscotti, these have a deep chocolaty flavor.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup walnuts, chopped

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour a large baking sheet.

(Resist the temptation to add liquid to help blend the dough, but if you like a sweeter cookie add 1/4 cup additional sugar and one more tablespoons of butter.)

In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined well. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

(At this stage you have to ignore what the "logs" actually remind you of or you'll never get through baking these formed chunks of dough.)

On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Bake logs 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.

(The cooling part is really important, if you cut the slices too soon they crumble, so give the logs a good five minute rest before hacking them up with a sharp knife.)

On a cutting board cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool biscotti on a rack. Biscotti keep in airtight containers 1 week and frozen, 1 month.

(And this 30 thing is stretching it a little with a single batch, think more like 20.)

Makes about 30 biscotti

Good luck with your batch!


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