Here are a couple of things I’ve been meaning to get to (along with the many email messages and comments I need to respond to)
My sister and her fiance (I’ll be glad when they’re married and I don’t have to worry about how to spell "fiance") gave me this for christmas. LOVE IT. The blood orange and peppermint are especially good. I keep intending to mix them up and see what I can come up with. The brewing mug is genius.
And, here are the two biscotti recipes that I made for christmas. I made the choc chip one again, because I gave away most of them the first time and I needed to have more. Addictive. Both are from this book. I hope she doesn’t blog surf and see me giving away her potential sales and sue me. Buy the book! There are tons of great cookie recipes in it.
Milk Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Chocolate Chip Almond Biscotti
I’ll put them out of the way over here. Just so you know, these look more difficult than they really are. I think so, anyhow.
milk chocolate biscotti
- 7 ounces blanched almonds (calls for whole, I used slivered and it was fine)
- 7 ounces milk chocolate (she uses hershey’s symphony, I used a block of ghiredelli (or something) from trader joe’s)
- 1 and 3/4 cups sifted unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used scharfenberger because I’m kind of a food snob, but seriously, don’t use crappy old nestle. I hate nestle. They suck.)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large size eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Toast the almonds in a shallow pan in a preheated oven at 350 for twelve to fifteen minutes. You will smell them when they are done. Set aside to cool.
Cut or break the chocolate into small pieces and put in bowl of food processor with metal blade. Let stand.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Add about a cup of these sifted ingredients to the chocolate. Process about 30 seconds, or until the chocolate is fine and powdery.
In a large bowl mix together the processed ingredients with the remaining sifted dry ingredients. Stir in the almonds.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs and the vanilla just to mix. With a large rubber or wooden spatula stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. It will seem too dry. Keep stirring. Then, stir some more.
Now place two 20 inch lengths of plastic wrap on the work surface.
You are going to shape two loaves, so spoon dough down the center of each piece of plastic. Each strip should be 13 or 14 inches long. Flatten the tops with the bottom of a wet spoon, then lift the two long sides of the plastic (hold as close together as possible to the dough — touching the dough) and –with your hands — press on the plastic wrap to smooth the dough and shape it into an even strip 14 to 15 inches long, 2 and 1/2 to 3 inches wide, and 3/4 inch thick (no thicker, or it won’t slice neatly), with squared ends.
Transfer to a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for about 2 hours (or much longer if need be), until firm enough to be unwrapped.
To bake, adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds. Preheat to 300. Line two large cookie sheets with baking parchment or foil, shiny side up.
To transfer the frozen dough to the sheets (it’s ok if the dough is still sticky), open the two long sides of plastic wrap on one piece and turn the dough upside down on the lined sheet, placing it diagonally on the sheet. Slowly peel off the plastic wrap. Do that again for the other one.
Bake for one hour, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back once during baking to make it all even-steven. The strips will spread out to 7 or 8 inches wide.
After 1 hour of baking, reduce the oven to 275 and remove the sheets from the oven. Immediately, with a wide, metal spatula, release a strip from the parchment or foil and place it on a board. Repeat with the second one.
Use a pot holder or towel to hold the hot strip in place, and use a serrated bread knife (I use a fifteen year old one that was included with an automatic bread machine. I LOVE that knife. /tangent) to cut the strip crosswise into slices 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide.
Repeat with second strip. Place the slices, standing upright, on unlined cookie sheets with a little space between them.
Bake for 40 minutes, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back once during baking.
Let cool and store in an airtight container.
I am too tired to type the second recipe right now. Will do it though.