Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Toasted Pecan Cocoa Biscotti

Twice Baked Italian Cookies (Biscotti)

Well, I broke down and baked this weekend, having made it through a full month into the new year to compensate for the excesses of the holidays.

I was really missing a morning treat to go with our coffee, and this recipe on the side of the Dutch-processed cocoa powder box fit the bill. They are not very sweet but they are chocolatey.

Toasted Pecan Cocoa Biscotti
(from the Dorval cocoa powder box)

1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. instant espresso powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, at room temperature
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a large cookie rimmed sheet with parchment paper.
Toast the pecans, either in the toaster oven, or in the oven, or in a large skillet on the stove top, until fragrant but not dark.  (3-4 minutes in my toaster oven. Watch them carefully.) Break them into large pieces, or chop roughly.  Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, espresso powder, baking soda and salt.
In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer, combine eggs, butter and vanilla until well blended.  Turn mixer to low and slowly add the sugar.

Then gradually (a 1/2 cup or so at a time) add the flour mixture, mixing well after each addition.

Mix in the toasted pecans.  (Make sure they are cool.)

(The batter will be stiff.)
On a floured surface, (turn out the dough)
and divide it in two logs (as equally sized as possible and flattened on top.)
Place them on the parchment paper lined baking sheet, allowing for enough space for the dough to expand as it bakes.
Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes until firm to the touch. (Wish I had taken mine out sooner.)
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
Using a serrated knife, slice the logs into pieces approximately 3/4 inch thick.
Place back on the baking sheet with pieces standing upright and bake for another 20 minutes (checking after 10, and then again at 15) or until the desired crispness.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
These biscotti are the dry-style of biscotti.  Best with coffee or red wine.


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