Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hazelnut Biscotti and Strawberry & Dark Chocolate Biscotti


I made biscotti this week. Been way too long....
I was day-dreaming about how good it would be to have a tasty, coffee-dunking cookie on hand. I mean, really, how often do you have a little something special to dunk into your morning cuppa?



I started with a hazelnut biscotti recipe and then made up my mind to do one with dried strawberries and dark chocolate. I like them both, but am slightly partial to the hazelnut. Jay gave the strawberry chocolate version a big thumbs up. Thank you baby.



I don't know if it was my goof and I didn't bake the biscotti quite as long as I could have....but they weren't as hard and crunchy as biscotti tend to be.
I'm actually good with that. I'm not a super crunchy cookie kind of gal anyways. How about you?



One cool thing I learned by using the recipe for the Hazelnut Biscotti, is a unique way to remove the hazelnut skins. Surprised I never heard of it before.
You boil the nuts in a baking soda bath. After a few minutes, the water turns blackish and you remove and rinse the nuts. 
The skins come right off. Who knew?
I think I see a huge batch of homemade nutella in my future....oh boy!


Hazelnut Biscotti

Adapted from Alice Medrich's recipe in "Baking with Julia"


1 cup whole hazelnuts
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt {I used pink Himalayan}
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico {I omitted, as I didn't have on hand....ah, but I love Frangelico too}
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Prepare the nuts:
Blanch hazelnuts with 3 Tbs. baking soda in 2 cups of boiling water, and boil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the water turns black. Remove from heat and place the nuts into a colander and run under cold water. Rub off the skins and pat the nuts dry on a towel. Place nuts on a sheet pan and toast for about 15 minutes. Remove nuts from oven and lower temperature to 300°F. When the nuts are cool enough to handle, coarsely chop them and set them aside.

 
Make the dough:
Put the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk just to blend. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, liqueur, vanilla, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid and stir with a wooden spoon to mix. Add the nuts and continue to mix, just until well incorporated. 

Flour your hands and lift the dough onto one side of the parchment-lined sheet. {I saved the other half of the sheet pan for my strawberry chocolate dough.}
 
First Baking:
Bake the logs for exactly 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

Second Baking:
Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices, cutting straight across or diagonally.
Lay the biscotti on their sides on a cooling rack then place the rack in the 300° oven, directly on an oven rack. {Baking the biscotti like this allows the oven's heat to circulate around the cookies, so there's no need to turn them over.} The cookies may need to bake 15 minutes but check them at 10 minutes. When they are golden brown, dry, and crisp, remove the cooling racks from the oven.
Let the cookies cool to room temperature before packing them for storage.

{Note: I sprinkled just a bit of brown sugar on top of the hazelnut biscotti, before the 2nd baking}.

For the Strawberry and Dark Chocolate version:

I used the same recipe as above, omitting the hazelnuts and adding in about 3/4 cup of chopped dried strawberries and 1/2 cup or so of chopped dark chocolate.
This dough was a little looser and stickier than the hazelnut dough, so I added an additional amount of flour {I confess I eye-balled it...maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra}. Just till it was easier to handle and shape.





2 comments:

  1. I baked the chocolate and strawberry biscotti, which I switched to blueberry and chocolate and they are wonderful! Shannon yours is my favorite site.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dana, so good to hear from you! Hope your move went smoothly and you are enjoying your new digs. Blueberry with the chocolate sounds good. I might even try blueberry with white chocolate (if you go that way with your chocolate!). So glad you enjoy the site....thank you for telling me!
      Take good care and let me know about your cooking and baking adventures.

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