Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

Even though I am always looking for the new and exciting in food, recipes, tools, restaurants and all things foodie and fun, really, sometimes I long for the traditional, too. When it comes to baking I prefer the tried and true. After all, it's pretty difficult to really screw up a baking project. If you follow the recipe the measurements and baking times are always precise even if you've done something so many times that you barely need to look at the measuring cup and you can literally smell when something is done baking. So, I got out my foodie notebook (you too can have one of these-just contact me)and paged through to find a perfect recipe for a cold and rainy Spring afternoon in Boston.

Maybe it goes back to all of those summers spent working at Bernard's Bakery on Shore Road, which was fantastic learning as we made everything from doughnuts to eccles cakes - all fresh, every morning. Anyway, here's a great turn at biscotti. If you've never made it yourself have no fear. It's pretty easy to do. Of course, you can feel free to improvise your own nuts (pistachios anyone?) or maybe go for a milk chocolate but the basic recipe remains the same.

Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 squares baker's semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in chocolate and walnuts.

Shape dough into two (14x1 1/2 inch) slightly flattened logs. Place two inches apart on greased and floured cookie sheet.

Bake twenty-five minutes or until lightly browned. Place on a cutting board and cool at least five minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut each log into diagonal slices about 3/4 inches thick. Place slices upright on cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart. Bake ten minutes more, or until slightly dry. Cool on wire racks.

Makes about three dozen. You can also warm up some of the leftover chocolate in the microwave and dip the finished cookies in and dry on waxed paper for an outside layer of sweetness.

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