What to make for dessert when you are having an Italian appetizer party? Biscotti of course. I wanted something simple and not messy that people could walk around with. Although, admittedly biscotti does generate a lot of crumbs, but oh well. I had made biscotti forever ago, but it was a basic recipe, white flour with almonds. This time I wanted chocolate and lots of it. Its funny when I thought about making the biscotti I thought of my friends Dad who also happens to be my neighbor. We've had plenty of meals with their family and I've always seen him dip his biscotti in Prosecco or wine of any kind. So I made sure we had that Prosecco on hand for the party since he and his wife were attending. He did not disappoint.
Here's how I made them.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, I used Valhrona
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped (I buy raw ones and roast them in a cast iron skillet. After they cool i rub as much of the skin off as I can, but you can leave it on if you'd like)
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a cookie sheet.
In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in chopped hazelnuts and dark chocolate chips.
On prepared baking sheet, you might want to flour your hands, form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. I find that longer thinner logs is the way to go, that way when you get to the slicing part you have smaller biscotti cookies, but that's entirely up to you. Bake logs about 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.
On a cutting board cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange biscotti on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool biscotti on a rack. You can keep them in an airtight container for 1 week and frozen, 1 month. I like my biscotti crunching and hard so I baked them slightly longer, no more than a total of 20 minutes.
Final task was packaging and sending them on their way. I'm loving these new gift tags from Tiny Prints, which I personalized, actually I'm kind of addicted to them. My friends loved the little packages of goodies and a few friends will get them in the mail with the recipe on my new note pad (seen above) which incidentally looks perfect with the biscotti.