Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

20 May

Ingredients

1 cup hazelnuts

4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoapowder 

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). To toast hazelnuts: spread on abakingsheetand bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned and the skins begin to blister and peel. Remove from oven and place the nuts in a clean dish towel. Roll up the towel and let the nuts ‘steam’ for 5 minutes and then briskly rub the towel (with nuts inside) to remove the skins from the nuts.  Cool and then chop coarsely.

Reduce theoventemperatureto 300 degree F (150 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, place the coarsely chopped chocolate and brown sugar and process until the chocolate is very fine.

In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder,espressopowder, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and vanilla extract until combined (about 30 seconds). Add the chocolate/sugar mixture and the flour mixture and beat until a stiff dough forms, adding the hazelnuts about half way through mixing.

With floured hands divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll each half of dough into a log about 10 inches (25 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 3 inches (7.5 cm) apart.Bake until almost firm to the touch, about 35 -40 minutes(logs will spread during baking). Remove from theoven, place on wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes.

Using a long spatula transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife cut the dough into slices 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick on the diagonal. Arrange the slices cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake until crisp and dry, about 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

These are wonderful with a white chocolate glaze: Melt 3 ounces (90 grams) of chopped white chocolate in a small metal bowl placed over asaucepanof simmering water. Watch carefully as white chocolate can burn easily. Stir to melt. Dip one end of the biscotti into the chocolate and let it dry, on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Store in an airtight container for several weeks.

Makes about 30 biscotti

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