Saturday, August 15, 2009

Be Scotty

Today Sis and I met over at Mom's for our weekly coffee date. There aren't many of them left now before the new owners take possession of the house, so we enjoy our time there while we can.

Since I never get up early enough on Saturdays to eat breakfast beforehand, we usually have a little something to go with our coffee. Some days it's mini-cinnamon rolls, some days donut holes, some days it's something one of us has made. For the past couple of weeks I've been trying out new recipes and bringing them for Sis to test.

Last week I made the World's Worst Orange Cranberry Scones. I named the recipe myself, because they were, in a word, awful.

I like to experiment. I also have a problem with someone else telling me what to do. The combination of those two traits could very well be lethal in some cases. In this case it was merely disgusting.

The recipe called for sour cream, eggs and butter. Being the brilliant chef I am, I added more butter to the batch because I thought the scones would be too dry. Instead, they turned out more like very, VERY moist cake.

I took four of them to Mom's. We choked down two of them, and I left the other two for Sis to trash. When I got home I dumped the whole lot in the sink and ran the garbage disposal. Today I found out that Sis took the other two home and her boys devoured them. Had I known that I would have foisted all of the remaining scone-lings on her. As it was, no nephews were harmed.

This morning I was wide awake at 7:30 a.m. on the one morning I could have slept in. Isn't that always the way it is? Because I had the time I decided to try and redeem myself.

I made biscotti. Not just any biscotti, but chocolate chocolate chip biscotti. Killer biscotti - in a good way.

Now, due to last week's disaster I was understandably fearful. But when all was said and done I thought the end product turned out well. I took some over to Mom's and Sis seemed to agree, but I was concerned as to whether or not she was just being nice. Sis is like that.

While we were sitting in the kitchen talking, The Girl called. She thought I had gone to Starbucks and she wanted to take advantage of the situation. Since she was out of luck Starbucks-wise, I told her about the biscotti that was left.

Before I got home she had eaten half of what I'd left at home and sent me a text saying "These are really GOOD!" That was when I knew I'd scored. As if that wasn't enough, Hubster tried them and echoed The Girl's sentiments word for word. Since Hubster never likes anything new and discourages me from trying new recipes, this was like winning a gold medal in the Baking Olympics.

Tonight there is not one piece left.

I think it's a hit.

So being one to spread the joy, I give you the recipe below. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Biscotti

1/2 C butter, room temperature
3/4 C granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 C all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 C cocoa powder
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and divide it in half. Form each half into a log 10 inches long. Do this by rolling the dough back and forth into a cylinder shape with floured hands. Transfer the logs to the baking sheet, spacing them well apart (width-wise on the pan), and pat to even the shapes. Bake until firm to the touch, about 25 - 30 minutes (logs will spread during baking**). Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into slices about 3/4 inch thick on the diagonal. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and bake about 8 - 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake until crisp and dry, about 8 - 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Makes about 24 - 30 biscotti

**Note: Logs spread very little during baking. That's why it's important to slice the logs on the diagonal. I sliced them about 1/2" rather than 3/4" and they still had to bake over 10 minutes on each side to come out crisp. Your oven may vary from mine in temperature, so use your own best judgment.

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