Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baking with Linda: Chocolate-Cranberry-Walnut Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti Dough
Perfectly Prepared by my Oldest Son
 All my boys, my husband, and extended family (or so they say) love these traditional Italian cookies, which I make about 2 -3 times a year & definitely for Christmas. A delicious blend of flavors and crunch make them a family favorite.

Cream together:
2/3 cup softened butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 organic eggs
3 tsp. vanilla extract

Blend dry ingredients (separately):
2/3 cup unsweetened, unsalted cocoa powder
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup dark, bittersweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup craisins, each sliced in half

Whip the softened butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in your KitchenAid Mixer. Incorporate dry ingredients separately in a big bowl. First break up the walnuts by hand and cut the craisins in thirds - less likely for the "bars" to fall apart when slicing them from the log formations.  Once splatter guards are in place (I recommend them!), spoon the dry mixture into the wet mixture, about a half cup at a time.

On Pam-sprayed cookie sheet, form two 12" by 4" logs. Tip from Mom: lightly coat your hands with flour so the dough doesn't stick to your fingers.

Bake 23-25 minutes @375 degrees.  Let cool 20 minutes before slicing, on a slight diagonal, into "bars."  I use a broad-blade knife to slice the logs; my knife measures 1.5"  by  6" and works perfectly.

Situate bars, flat-side-down, onto cookie sheet and bake 6 minutes on each side for about 5 minutes. This allows biscotti to cook through and become firm.

Almost 16, my oldest son is an expert at making these biscotti and can make them completely on his own. He and my 13-year-old fight over who's getting the mixing blade and batter bowl!  As he and his brothers have discovered, chocolate biscotti are excellent for dipping in tall glasses of milk. 
Biscotti look beautiful when served with a fine dusting of confectioner's powdered sugar.  They freeze very well; in fact, we like them right out of the freezer with a cup of capuccino or espresso.

La Dolce Vita

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