Coconut Biscotti

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼  teaspoon salt

¼  teaspoon baking soda

1/8  teaspoon grated

¾  cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract

2 large eggs

1 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Parchment paper

 

Preheat oven to 300°

Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg.  Set aside.
  2. In a mixer, beat together the  sugar, vanilla, coconut extract, and eggs.  Beat with at medium speed for 2 minutes, or until thick.
  3. Add the flour mixture and coconut; stir to combine (dough will be very sticky).
  4. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface; knead lightly 7 or 8 times.
  5. With dampened hands, shape the dough into 2  12 x 3-inch logs on the parchment-covered sheet pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the logs are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
  6. Cut the logs diagonally into approximately 25-30  ½ -inch-thick slices Place them cut-side down on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from baking sheet, and  cool completely on wire rack

Yield: approximately 40 biscotti

NOTE:  If splitting this recipe into 4 equal-sized logs, and not two (log size:  approx 10”x1.5”), the yield is approx. 50-60 biscotti.  If you make the smaller ones, bake for 22 minutes, and again for 8 minutes.

 

 

Hazelnut Biscotti

This is a crisp, but not dense, biscotti. Following the recipe are notes on how to peel hazelnuts. This method is easier than the common ne of toasting and peeling the nuts.

1 ½  cups toasted hazelnuts (7 ounces)

¼ cup baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

¾ stick (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

2 cups flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon hazelnut extract

 

Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper

See notes below to remove the skin from hazelnuts

  1. To toast hazelnuts, place them on a sheet pan, and place in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden in color. Check the nuts every 5 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Cool nuts completely, then very coarsely chop.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
  3. Pulse together sugar and 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and add the butter. Beat for two minutes, or until a bit fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla, and hazelnut extract, and beat until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Add the chopped hazelnuts.
  6. Halve dough and, with dampened hands, form each half into a roughly 10- by 2- by 1-inch log on lined baking sheet, arranging logs 3 inches apart.
  7. Bake until golden and set but still soft to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. (Leave oven on.) Cool logs on baking sheet on a rack 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer logs to a cutting board, discarding parchment, and cut logs with a serrated knife on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  9. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on unlined baking sheet. Bake slices until golden, approximately 10 minutes more. Cool biscotti completely on cooling rack, about 10 minutes.

Yield: Approximately  32 cookies

NOTE:  If splitting this recipe into 4 equal-sized logs, and not two (log size:  approx 10”x1.5”), the yield is approx. 50-60 biscotti.  If you make the smaller ones, bake for 22 minutes, and again for 8 minutes.

To peel hazelnuts:

2 cups of water

3 tablespoons of baking soda

1 cup of hazelnuts

 

  1. In a medium saucepan with high sides, bring the water to a boil. Add the baking soda to the water. Note that the water will foam up.
  2. Add the nuts to the boiling water and boil for about 3 minutes. The water will turn black. This is fine. While the hazelnuts are boiling, Set aside a medium bowl of ice water.
  3. After the three minutes, remove one nut, and place it into the ice water. Use your fingers to remove the skin. If it doesn’t come off easily, boil the nuts for 1 minute longer, and try another test nut.
  4. When a test skin rubs right off, add the rest of the nuts to the ice water and peel them once they’re cool enough to handle.
  5. Place the peeled nuts in a cloth or paper towel and thoroughly dry them.

 

The hazelnuts are now ready to be toasted.

 

 

Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

This is a recipe I borrowed from my sister, Bea Grossman. It is awesome in every way.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened, Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

zest of one orange (optional)
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

 

Preheat oven to 350°F, and butter (or spray) a large baking sheet

  1. In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and optional orange zest.
  2. 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.
  3. On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Bake logs 30-35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.
  4. 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.

NOTE:  If splitting this recipe into 4 equal-sized logs, and not two (log size:  approx 10”x1.5”), the yield is approx. 50-60 biscotti.  If you make the smaller ones, bake for 22 minutes, and again for 8 minutes.

More chocolate!

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Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Sure, you can blame Facebook.  I know I do. But I finally submitted the entire manuscript of the chocolate candy book, including what seems like 50 million recipes. Having come through this chocolate marathon, I can say that my favorite at the beginning was my favorite at the end. Well, it’s actually my favorite flavor combination: dark chocolate and orange. To me, that’s candy perfection. And there are so many variations: truffles, bark, lollypops, fudge, and more. And the orange can come from freshly squeezed oranges, zest, liqueurs, candied orange peel extract, and probably one or two more sources that elude me for the moment.

But it’s not like I did all of that research and writing just to end up where I started.  Actually, while I have been playing with chocolate for years, it was quite a fun adventure, including: mastering the three types of truffles, ruining a quick and easy fudge, simmering and reducing a portion of a $25 bottle of port (gasp!), chopping a zillion pounds of chocolate by hand, intentionally causing some very lovely chocolate to seize, and much, much more.

By now, you’re probably wondering when and where you can buy this epic tome. Hopefully, it’ll be available in November. Once I have a publishing date, I’ll let you know.

And yes, there were some surprises along the way. The biggest? Well, I’ve only gained eight pounds. At least, that’s the number I’m telling myself. And yes, that is me in this photo. If you can’t get messy with chocolate, then with what can you get messy?