Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

I used to go to Starbucks every morning.  It was like a ritual.  I got my coffee and sat in a parking lot for the HOV restrictions to be lifted so I could hop on the HOV at 8:58am (woo hoo, livin' dangerous) and get to work in 20 minutes.  This sort of "traffic planning" is required when you commute up to DC.... or else you sit in traffic for an hour to an hour and a half to go 15 miles.  Anyway, since my son started kindergarten and doors open at 8:45am, by the time I get to the HOV it is 9am and there is no time to get a coffee.  It's a little sad for me - I miss Starbucks.  And I'm sure they miss my $2.05 for a cup of coffee.  

Sometimes I used to get one of their biscotti to go with my coffee.  I think biscotti are delicious.  I love to dunk them in my coffee and bite off a chunk.  I like to find little 'biscotti bits' at the bottom of my coffee.  It reminds me of dunking Oreo cookies in milk - except for breakfast.  

Since I no longer frequent Starbucks, I made my favorite Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti recipe the other day so my homemade coffee isn't lonely.  It's really easy to make and it makes enough so you can share some with your coffee-loving friends!  

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces)
2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped
3/4 of white chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.

2.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  

3.  Beat with an electric mixer until completely mixed and smooth.

4.  Chop the hazelnuts into smaller bits.

5.  Add the hazelnuts and chocolate chips to the large mixing bowl.  Stir until mixed in evenly.

6.  Get two baking sheets and line them with parchment paper.  Spoon half of the mix onto the paper in a mound that is about 10 inches long and is 2 inches high.  Do the same with the other half of the mix (so you have two baking sheets with the mix spread out on them).  Put in the oven for 35 minutes.

7.  Remove baking sheets from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Lower the oven to 325 degrees. 

8.  Transfer loaf to a cutting board and slice (using a serrated knife) into 1-2 inch wide slices.

9.  Place the biscotti slices, flat side up back on the baking sheets and put in the oven for 10 minutes.

10.  Remove slices and allow to cool.  Melt the white chocolate and the shortening in the microwave on half power heat for 45 seconds.  Remove chocolate and stir.  Put back in the microwave on half power for another 30 seconds, stir until smooth (and no longer chips).  Heat more if necessary. **The shortening makes it easier to drizzle the chocolate**

11.  Using a fork, drizzle the white chocolate on the tops of the biscotti.  Put the baking sheets in the refrigerator overnight to allow the white chocolate to harden. 

12.  Enjoy your biscotti with a yummy cup of coffee!

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