Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chocolate-Covered Almond Biscotti and Amaretto with Milk

Cara McAvoy, sous chef at San Francisco's Chiaroscuro has a little Christmas present for you, one day early:

Tonight is Christmas Eve! And Santa has been having the same cookies and milk at your place for decades, and frankly, he is sick of them.

Whats better than cookies and milk? Milk with booze in it, and chocolate-covered biscotti to sop it up. Biscotti seem so fancy, but this recipe is easy, I promise. And if you've been baking for the holidays, you probably have all of these ingredients in your house already.

Chocolate-Covered Orange and Almond Biscotti 

(This is a recipe without a lot of fat; I usually make these with a little more olive oil but I thought after a month of indulging, it might be nice to consume one thing that was a little waist-line friendly!)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sliced (toasted) almonds
1 Tbsp orange zest
3 eggs
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp  Almond extract
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

11 oz bittersweet chocolate for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Prepare a greased and floured baking sheet.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, toasted almonds and orange zest; mix well.
4. Add the eggs, oil and both extracts to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula (or your hands!) until well combined.
5. Form logs on cookie sheet in the approximate diameter you would like your biscotti to be and flatten with hands.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
7. Let cool and slice on a bias, lay them back on the cookie sheet and return to oven,
8. Bake for an aditional 5-10 minutes per side (the cookies should be crunchy when done!),
9. When cookies are cooled completely heat chocolate in a double boiler until melted - the chocolate should be slightly warm and thoroughly melted. Stir well using a clean spoon until it no longer feels warm to the touch (it should feel about body temperature). Immediately start dipping your biscotti - hold one end and dip the other a few times to thoroughly coat it.
10. Let biscotti dry on parchment or waxed paper (you could also drizzle the chocolate over top and sprinkle with nuts!

Amaretto and Milk
A simple glass of amaretto with milk or cream (about 2:1 amaretto to dairy) is always delicious, but to spice things up even more experiment with other liquors such as Frangelico, walnut liquor or peach schnapps.

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