Friday, July 21, 2017

Locksmith (Chocolate Hazelnut) Biscotti by Colleen

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Last night Buddy informed me that the lock on the front door was “spinning.”  

Sure enough the mortise lock screw had come loose and the whole unit was turning when you put in your key.  The solution was embarrassingly simple (remove the plate and tighten a screw) but I didn’t know that until the locksmith showed up this morning and fixed it in literally less than a minute.  

But while I was waiting for him to arrive (three hour window) I decided to make biscotti.  As one does, when one has to be stuck in the house.  

I have used the David Lebovitz recipe a few times before, but wasn’t really happy with it - and it was a PAIN to mix together.  

So I scouted around and found a recipe that looked easier and then of course modified it to give it more flavor and crunch - hazelnuts, espresso powder, and drizzled chocolates.  You could use almonds instead of hazelnuts (which are expensive and difficult to find) and leave out the espresso powder or use almond extract for a different flavor profile (if you used almonds).  

If you do use hazelnuts, be sure to roast them first.  Put on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at about 275 degrees.  Turn into a dish towel while warm and rub the hazelnuts together to remove the skins.  If this seems annoying, buy blanched almonds.

Be sure to use bar chocolate and NOT chips for the drizzled chocolate.  White chocolate chips in particular refuse to melt smoothly.  I use Ghirardelli bars.

I did a lot of tasting along the way and the flavor is satisfyingly chocolate and the cookies are crunchy, but not too dry.

---Colleen



Locksmith (Chocolate Hazelnut) Biscotti

3 ½ cups flour
¾ cups Hershey’s cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt  (½ teaspoon less if using salted butter)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 bag chocolate chips (semisweet or dark)
4 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
1 ½ cups roasted hazelnuts, skinned and coarsely chopped
four ounces white chocolate, melted
four ounces dark chocolate, melted

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.  Cream the butter with the sugar and then add eggs, one at a time and mix well.  Add the vanilla and then add the dry ingredients and mix well.  Add the chocolate chips and hazelnuts.

Form four logs on floured board.  Logs should be about 2-3 inches wide, ¾ -1 inch high and about 12-13 inches long.  Use floured hands to shape logs as needed.  Put parchment on two  baking sheets and place two logs lengthwise on each sheet.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and after 5 minutes, cut diagonally about 1 inch thick pieces.  Place pieces back on parchment on their sides and bake another 10 minutes.

Let cool.  Microwave chocolates separately in large glass measuring cups.  When smooth, use a spoon to drizzle chocolates over the top of the cooled cookies using a quick back and forth motion.  Chill or allow chocolate to set.

---Colleen


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