December 20, 2010

Christmas Treats!

Christmas kitchen activity has been in full swing around here.  The first up were biscotti for my coworkers, they are all huge coffee drinkers and I thought they might appreciate a morning treat to go with their coffee.  I made two versions, and I have tried to find ones I like more than these two and have yet to find them.  The first is a Hazelnut Almond Biscotti (on the left below), the original recipe can be found on the Food Network website.

Hazelnut Almond Biscotti
2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. blanched whole almonds, toasted
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. whole hazelnuts, roughly chopped
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. pure almond extract
2 T. Amaretto
Up to 4 T. water

Preheat the oven to 375.  If you don't have a silplat or parchment paper, grease a cookie sheet.  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together.  In a food processor, combine the almonds with 1/2 c. of the dry mixture and grind until a fine powder.  Add to the dry ingredients along with the chocolate chips and hazelnuts.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts and Amaretto and add to the dry ingredients.  If the dough does not come together as you work with it, add the 4 T. of water as needed, 1 T. at a time.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each into a flattened log, about 10 in. long, 3 in. wide, and 1 in. high.  Place on cookie sheet, leaving at least 3 in. between the logs, and bake for about 25-30 minutes until they are golden brown.

Once they are finished, reduce the oven temperature to 300 and let the biscotti log cool for 30 minutes.  Re-grease the cookie sheet.  Cut the logs into 1/2 in. slices on the diagonal and arrange the cookies cut side up on the cookie sheet.  The logs should make about 15 cookies each.  Bake until toasted and dry, about 20-25 minutes.  Let cool completely! 

I think my favorite part about biscotti is that they make it acceptable to have cookies for breakfast!  Stud and I had plenty leftover after I set aside ones for my coworkers and now we can snack on them through the holidays.  And I can never decide which I like more...the nutty ones or the chocolate....

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