Monday, December 5, 2016

'Tis Chocolate Dipping Season

Biscotti is the plural form of biscotto.  The word originates from the Latin word biscoctus  meaning 'twice baked'.  Biscotti were twice baked, so that they would be dry and then could be stored for long periods of time.  Country of origin is Italy.  A delicious crisp cookie with fruit and/or nuts included into the batter.  They can be dunked to soften for more gentle chewing also.  I find biscotti delightful, and I am glad I have learned to make them.  Biscotti looks terrific on a cookie platter by themselves and looks gorgeous surrounded by an assortment of other cookies on a cookie platter for a party!

Vanilla Cherry Biscotti:

6 Tbsp. Butter [softened]
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 c. flour
1 c. dried cherries

Oven temperature 350 degrees to bake for 25 minutes for the first baking.
Oven temperature for second baking is 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
Yields: 12-18 biscotti depending on how thin or thick you slice them.

Cream butter and sugar together.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt together.

Add eggs to butter and sugar, and blend well.

Add flour and continue blending until dry ingredients are well incorporated.

Measure one cup of dried cherries.  Turn off mixer, and mix cherries in batter by hand with a spoon.

Divide dough in half evenly.  On parchment lined baking pans form biscotti loaves with hands moistened with cool water.  Rewet hands as needed to form loaves.  Batter will seem dry and this is good.  Makes for better biscotti.  Keeping hands moist will help you form the loaves together with ease.  If any dried cherries fall out, just re add them to the top of the biscotti loaves and gently pat them to stay.

Cooking time is 25 minutes or until loaves when gently pressed in the center bounce back.

Loaves should cool slightly for twenty minutes before slicing.  Slice biscotti 1/2"-3/4" thick, and place back on baking sheet.  Return biscotti to a 325 degree oven for ten minutes.

Make sure biscotti is totally cooled before dipping one end in milk chocolate which has been melted in a double boiler or glass heat-proof bowl over a slow boiling saucepan of hot water.  Place dipped biscotti on plate or cooling rack until chocolate is set.  You can then move biscotti to a platter for your party or an airtight container for storage.

Rooney not being able to have chocolate does not stop her from enjoying the aroma that melting chocolate creates in our home, nor from enjoying the smell the baking Vanilla Cherry Biscotti creates.  With all the baking we do this time of year, the smells that waft through our homes is enjoyable.  Everyone and every canine seems happier when baking of sweet treats is happening in our ovens!

Enjoy Vanilla Cherry Biscotti dipped in milk chocolate this week,

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