It shouldn't surprise you to find out that I was highly disorganized this Christmas and didn't actually have most of my home-baked gifts ready until Christmas afternoon. It's a long story, but I do have to thank the weather in part for helping me get it all done: the good old outdoor fridge was my ally and let my baking cool much more quickly than it would have had I kept it indoors. It was sunny but chilly, and the new deck's railing was the perfect size to keep the pans reliably steady.
I am in the habit of giving biscotti to C & R, my SIL's parents because they are big biscotti fans, and they have always told me how much they've enjoyed receiving it in the past. This year I made a double batch so that I could give some to my brother & SIL, too. Previously, I've made chocolate hazelnut biscotti and a lemon & sour cherry biscotti. This year, I chose to do peanut butter & chocolate biscotti.
It's always the same recipe, which I got from culinary school. It's fairly generic and therefore versatile.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Biscotti
50g cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 or so cups of peanut butter chips
chopped toasted peanuts for sprinkling on top
about 1/4 cup or so dark chocolate chips or other dark chocolate, melted, for drizzling 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. (The "half moon" thing is in the original culinary school recipe; it's 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 and sprinkle with nuts.
Apparently, these were a huge hit!