Monday, January 10, 2011

Crisp Chocolate Biscotti

I rarely make cookies. They are last on my list of favorite baking items (except macarons :) ). If I make them, I always make sure that they have many goodies in them such as oats, flaxseed or raisins. Otherwise, they are just fat and sugar. (My son begged me not to put oatmeal and flaxseed in them when I make them next time! He said they are not "real" cookies.)

After all the parties last month, we all need to have things more light and lean. Have you noticed all the exercise, keep fit related stuffs that are on sale in January? In light of this, I search for something more healthy and light to bake as well. This is the first time I have made biscotti. In my mind, they are cookies for adults. They are to be dunked in coffee or eated as plain cookies. This recipe is from Perfect Light Desserts by Nick Malgieri and David Joachim. There are only 44 calories per biscotti. It has no butter and uses only egg whites. In the beginning, I was kind of doubtful, not knowing how they would taste like without butter and egg yolk to tenderize the cookie. But to my surprise, they are not bad at all. Why don't you give it a try, too ? They are really easy and simple to make.

(BTW I'm elated that one of my posts was published at seriouseats !!)

The recipe said it can make 60, but I can only make 30 out of it. I guess it depends on how big or small you make them.

1 ¾ c all purpose flour
c unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ c sugar
c walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
6 egg 
2 tsp vanilla extract

1)  Preheat oven to 350F.
2)  Sift the dry stuff: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder. Add sugar, salt and walnuts. Mix.
3)  Lightly whisk the wet stuff: egg and vanilla. Add to the dry stuff until blended. It will become sticky.
4)  Flour the counter and press the batter into 2 logs and put on a sheet pan with a parchment paper or silicon mat on it.

5)  Bake for 30 mins. Cool on a rack and then cut with a serrated knife to about a ½ inch width. Lay them flat on the baking sheet again and put back to the oven and toast for 15 more mins.

6)  Cool completely before serving. They keep well for a long time at room temperature in a container with a tight lid.

1)  I used natural cocoa powder (Nestle) which is not Dutch-processed (treated with alkaline). Add ¼ tsp baking soda.
2)  Other nuts can be used as well, like almonds or pecans.

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