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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Biscotti, Revisited

Sometimes the stars somehow align and I come across several recipes for one and the same thing within a couple of days. It must be bound to happen, I think then, and turn on the oven. Such was the story of these two biscotti recipes. I came across the chocolate biscotti on David Lebovitz's blog and then I came across the Twice-baked Cookies in Ursila Ferrigno's book La Dolce Vita (absolutely fantastic book by the way). Or maybe it happened the other way around. Anyways, biscotti were in the star.

Twice-baked Cookies

280g/10oz plain white flour
140g/5oz caster sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1tsp vanilla extract
115g/4oz blanched slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except the almonds and mix well by hand. Add the almonds and mix until evenly distributed. Collect into a ball and divide in 2 or 4 balls. Shape each ball into a cigar shape and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and slice each "cigar" into 1-inch slices. Place sideways on the baking sheet and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until golden.

Chocolate Biscotti

2 cups flour
3/4 C top-quality cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 C almonds, toasted and very coarsely-chopped
3/4 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the eggs, vanilla, sugar and almond extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and almonds until evenly distributed. Shape dough in 2 long logs and bake for 25 minutes. Again slice logs into 1-inch slices and return to oven for another 10 minutes.

These turned out so different! Like night and day! The chocolate biscotti were very crisp and airy and also very, very hard! The plain ones were softer and a bit chewy, even. We had made some coffee ricotta to go with the plain ones but it really wasn't necessary, they were great by themselves. The chocolate ones were fantastic with coffee and hot chocolate but a little dangerous on their own. I wonder how many different biscotti recipes are there? These weren't just different flavors from the ones I made back in December, they were completely different cookies - different texture, crumb. All great but so different. I think Ursula Ferrigno's ones are my favorite so far!

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