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17 December 2007 @ 02:12 pm
Stumbling on through the holidays...  
Finished the first half of the holiday baking (for the Bay Area family members), and I have come to the conlusion that I just don't have the right personality to make biscotti.

I know what you're thinking: "Wait, isn't that just a kind of cookie? What does personality have to do with that?"

I don't know if it's this way with ALL biscotti, but this is the second year I've made chocolate biscotti. Even taking extra preparations, the dough still sticks like tar, and you can't get it off your hands for anything even as you're trying to manipulate it into shape. And it feels disgusting. Glagh!

For those who are braver than I, the recipe is below. I personally think this is a two-person effort, as you'll have to call somebody else in to sift flour over everything again and again after you've touched it. Did I mention that the dough sticks to everything?!? *shudders* I've also noticed that chocolate biscotti tend to taste kind of 'flat,' and so I'm still searching for a way to get them to taste like chocolate (i.e., I keep modifying the recipe). But this batch wasn't too bad, and it made a decent quantity (we give these as gifts):

HalfshellVenus' Chocolate Biscotti
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks (reserve egg whites)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 pkg white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, sugar and baking powder. In a separate bowl whisk
together the eggs, yolks and almond extract. Add wet mix to dry and stir until the dough comes
together, about 2 minutes. Add chips and mix until just incorporated.

Flour a sheet of waxed paper liberally, and drop dough onto it in three decently-spaced areas.
Sift flour over the top. Roll the dough into 3 logs each about 10 by 2 inches (do not flatten). Place
a piece of parchment onto a baking sheet and place logs on sheet. Brush with egg-whites until moist.

Place in oven and bake 20 minutes until light golden brown and remove. Allow to cool 5 minutes and
cut logs on a slight diagonal into pieces 1/2-inch thick. Lower heat to 300. Return cut biscotti to
baking sheet, just a little bit apart from each other, and place in oven. Bake 20-30 minutes until crisp
and dry. Cool and serve. Can also be stored in an airtight container and then individually packaged
for gifts.

~*~*~

We saw Astronaut Farmer on video, which was very good. My husband loved it, while I thought it was good. Plus, loved the supporting cast, which included the Nadine actress from Grace Under Fire and the 'What country do you think this is? actor from Ferris Bueller (oh come on, admit it-- you totally think of him that way too!).

We also watched this B-movie called Idiocracy, starring Luke Wilson. That was funnier than it should have been, mostly in ways that were deeply weird. An entirely average Army guy gets frozen for what is accidentally 500 years, and when he re-awakens he is the smartest man on the planet, thanks to progressive de-evolution. The "triage-processing" board in the hospital, the dumbed-down interfaces for everything and the general incompetence of the world at large are pretty funny.

Ooh, ooh, almost forgot! We finally loaded my new iPod with tunes, and I love it far more than I ever thought I would. It's like having my own personal radio station that only plays songs I like! Whoo-- Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, Fuel, Nirvana, STP, Cream, k.d. lang, Chris Isaak, Smashing Pumpkins, and (not kidding) Beck's Odelay to mention just a few. Got a devil's haircut in my mind.... *happy sigh*

So, good weekend for most of you?


 
 
 
girlguidejonesgirlguidejones on December 18th, 2007 06:53 am (UTC)
I've got a couple recipes for "cheating" biscotti. They are a little non-traditional in appearance (you par-bake them in a pan, cut and finish them on a tray, so they are square rather than rounded) but the taste and texture and just like a normal biscotti, and *so* much easier.

Interested?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on December 18th, 2007 07:00 am (UTC)
Please! Can they be made without touching the dough?

Gads, I never thought I'd be so obsessed over that, but I really, really hate that dough.

Email me? :)
girlguidejonesgirlguidejones on December 18th, 2007 07:03 am (UTC)
Totally! You make the dough stovetop in a saucepan, and scrape it into an 8x8 pan. You only have to press it a little to even it out. Other than that, no touching! :)

I'll type them out & email you before I go to work tomorrow, K?

:)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on December 18th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
You only have to press it a little to even it out. Other than that, no touching! :)
Spatula! Whoo!

Thank you-- I'll look forward to them. ♥