Monday, August 18, 2008

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti and Awards!


Cookies! Take a ride on the Cookie Carnival and what do you end up with? Chocolate hazelnut biscotti, that's what!

This is my first ride with the carnival and I am happy to report it was a success. I had never baked biscotti before and have to admit to it not previously being one of my favourites. That is no longer the case as these turned out wonderfully. I suspect the ones I had tasted before were past their shelf life.

Biscotti means twice baked and they first come out of the oven like big, flattened slabs of brownies. Then the are sliced and baked for another 15 minutes until crisp. Perfect with an espresso or cappuccino or gelato. Buon appetito.

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BISCOTTI

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, husked
3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips



Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Grind 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts in processor.
Set aside.
Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
Beat butter and sugar in another large bowl to blend.
Add eggs and vanilla and almond extracts and beat until well blended.
Beat in flour mixture.
Mix in 1 cup whole toasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts.
Divide dough into 2 equal pieces.
Shape each piece on baking sheet into 2 1/2-inch-wide by 14-inch-long log.
Place logs on prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart (logs will spread during baking). Bake until logs feel firm when tops are gently pressed, about 35 minutes.
Cool logs on baking sheet 15 minutes.
Maintain oven temperature.
Using long wide spatula, transfer baked logs to cutting board.
Using serrated knife, cut warm logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Arrange slices, cut side down, on 2 baking sheets.
Bake biscotti until firm, about 15 minutes.
Transfer to racks and cool completely. (Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti can be prepared ahead. Store in airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.)



I sent these to the office with hubby along with the Granola Grabbers (tomorrow's post) and they were very well received. This one goes down as a success.




AWARDS!

Kitchen Flavours of the Yummy Food Blog has bestowed upon me the honour of two awards. The 'Best Blog Darts Thinkers & Beautiful Site Award'.
I am humbled and honoured to be given such a lovely gift and in the tradition of giving, pass it to:
  • Michelle from Alosha's Kitchen, who makes such beautiful and comforting meals and isn't afraid to experiment in the kitchen.


  • Pam from Sidewalk Shoes who is not afraid of flavour, has great pictures and great ideas for preserving herbs and flavourings for future use.


  • My Baking Adventures - where she is constantly challenging herself, sharing her Wilton decorating course with us and making all sorts of delectable treats.


  • Jude from Apple Pie, Patis and Pate - who has the most amazing dishes and exceptional photography.


  • Madam Chow's Kitchen - Madam Chow is a wonderful bread baker who makes me warm and cozy with every beautiful bread she makes.

If you have not had a chance to get to know these blogs, I suggest you give them a visit!