Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

In keeping with this year's movement towards homemade gifts and giving food as gifts, I made these as a gift for my SIL's parents, C&R, who have always been very good to me. They have the hazelnut tree I cleaned off for them in the fall, and I thought it would be a nice touch to put some of their own hazelnuts in these cookies. This recipe is from culinary school and the original is pretty generic, allowing for many variations - one of which is this one. The measurements are mainly in weights, so you'll need a scale.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

85g butter
185g sugar
2 eggs
2tsp vanilla
300g flour
50g cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
70g chopped toasted hazelnuts
chocolate chips, melted, to drizzle over the top
additional chopped toasted hazelnuts, to sprinkle on the top

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Add the dry ingredients.

Knead the dough lightly and pat into a "half moon" shape for even cooking, about 3/4" thick. (I found this the most difficult part of the process. I hadn't actually made biscotti since culinary school, so we're talking nigh on four years hear. I can't remember how we shaped the dough, so I winged it and it eventually worked out in the end. The "half moon" thing is a little deceiving; what that means is rounded sides and a slightly rounded top.)

Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch, dry and cracked-looking. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Slice with a serrated knife, and then bake again until crisp and dried out - another 20 minutes or so.

Cool completely. Drizzle melted chocolate over the top, then sprinkle on the additional nuts.

These tasted really good: nice and chocolatey but not too sweet. They dried out enough that some pieces broke off as I was slicing them, but they were glued back on with chocolate. I also made these crisp, but not so crisp the recipients might break their teeth on them. They certainly look quite gorgeous and I'm very happy with the results!

I got some cellophane wrap from my local kitchen shop and wrapped the cookies up with a ribbon so they made a nice presentation. I hope C&R love them!


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oh, yummy! They must taste wonderful!

Happy Holidays!



Meg said...

Looks fabulous. They will love it!

Joanna said...

i've always admired those who grow their own nuts. how cool is that?!?

especially hazelnuts- they don't even sell them at my grocery store, so i've never tasted them.


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