Sunday, March 20, 2011

Double Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Adapted from Weight Watchers, Cooking Light and King Arthur Flour.

6 oz shelled and peeled hazelnuts
1 C KAF ww or white whole wheat flour
3/4 C AP flour
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli)
1/2 C dutched cocoa powder (regular is fine, too)
1 T instant espresso or coffee powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t kosher salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs (can use 2 large eggs + 2 large whites)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Place one rack in the upper third of oven and the other rack in the lower third. Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

If your nuts are not peeled already, place 6 oz of them on a large baking sheet and put in the oven while it preheats for about 10 min or so or until the nus smell fragrant and you can see the peels start to flake off. If the peels remain stubbornly in place, shake the pan a bit and then put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. Remove from oven and dump nuts onto a dish towel. Rub together vigorously until most of the peels have come off the nuts. If you like, run a knife through the nuts to chop them up a bit or whizz them around in your food processor (which is what I did) so they are in smaller pieces. I believe this helps with cutting the biscotti later. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine 2 tablespoons of hazelnuts, flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda and salt. Process until nuts are finely ground; transfer dry ingredients to a large bowl. In the same food processor (no need to clean), combine sugar, eggs and vanilla until slighty thickened, about 2 minutes. Add dry ingredients. Stir in remaining hazelnuts and chocolate chips.

Scoop one-third of the batter into a long rope on one side of the baking sheet; repeat with remaining batter, making 2 ropes on one baking sheet and one rope on the other, with space in between. KAF tip: using a wet spatula, wet spoon or wet hands, and shape ropes about 14 inches long and 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide. Bake, reversing baking sheets once, until firm, about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Another KAF tip: after removing logs from the oven, spray them evenly with water from a spray bottle to moisten the cookies and allow rest a few minutes. Place logs on a cutting board and cut STRAIGHT DOWN with a serrated knife on diagonal into approx. 1/2 inch thick slices. These tips help prevent crumbling as you cut the cookies. Place slices upright on baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake until cut sides feel dry to the touch, 25 min for crisp yet slightly crumbly texture or 35 min for a crisp and crunchy texture. Cool completely on cookie sheets. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 40-50 cookies. If you shape the logs into 4 ropes instead of 3 you will end up with more cookies.

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