Saturday, February 11, 2012

Milk Chocolate Chip Biscotti

I have been in a sort of baking funk.

The problem is not that I haven’t had the motivation to bake something. The problem is choosing what to bake! I find myself drooling over so many pictures on Foodgawker and favoriting anything that looks good. (I think I’m up to five pages full of deliciousness).

Last week I told you about the snow day that I had and how I made fluffernutter fudge for the Super Bowl. But as I was making them, I knew I wanted something to munch on at home, but what? I could make muffins; muffins are very delicious and I haven’t had one is so long! I could try and make granola bars again (I had previously made some that didn’t make it to the blog), but I wasn’t in the mood for experimenting. I could make more doughnuts, but those would be gone by noon, I wanted something that would last a few days.

I hit the random button on foodgawker more times than I care to remember, looking for inspiration. When I didn’t find any there, I went to the bottom of my bookshelf, home to multiple dessert and snack cookbooks and magazines. Then I saw one lonely little book, no thicker than a quarter of an inch. My biscotti book! I had snagged it for around $2 when Boarders was going out of business. Since I bought the book, I had yet to make anything from it, and I thought this would be a nice opportunity to try one of the recipes out. Plus biscotti lasts for several days, so that means multiple days of crunchy-cookie-munching.

So you may wonder why I’m so glad about a crunchy cookie, when I’ve made it clear before that I’m a soft and chewy cookie gal. Well there is an exception to every rule and biscotti is that exception.

I adapted the recipe only slightly by taking out the lemon zest and adding in milk chocolate chips. I never add milk chocolate chips. When choosing between milk chocolate and semisweet, I always reach for the semisweet, and half the time I would reach for bitter sweet. Never will I ever reach for what “chocolate” though. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, I never use milk chocolate chips, but for some reason, something told me to use them in the recipe, and following my gut, I poured in the chocolate chips.

The biscotti turned out fantastic! I think I may have under-baked it during round one because it sort of fell apart on me as I was cutting it, but that doesn’t matter because after the second bake, these cookies became crisp perfection. The actual cookie part was crumbly and perfect for soaking up milk (or the traditional coffee for you coffee lovers out there). The milk chocolate chips gave way and melted during the two baking periods, creating a smooth texture with a pleasant creamy taste.

Milk Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Slightly adapted from Biscotti
Makes 38-42 cookies

2 ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, soft
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
½ cup milk chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until there are no lumps. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Turn the speed down to low and carefully add the flour in a little bit at a time. Mix until the dough becomes soft and has come together somewhat. Beat in the milk chocolate chips.
  3. Divide the dough in half (it may be easier to weigh out your dough and then divide it if you want equal amounts). Form each half into a 12 inch long and 1 ½ inch wide log. Place the logs onto the lined baking sheet, spacing them about 2-3 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until light brown. DO NOT TURN OFF THE OVEN! Let the cookie logs cool for 5-10 minutes on a cooling rack before transferring to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut the logs diagonally, making each cookie about ½ an inch thick. Lay the slices flat on the baking sheet. Bake for another 5 minutes, turn all the cookies over and bake for another 5 minutes. Let the cookies cool on a rack.

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