Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Wow, it really has been a long time since I have made a post. To be fair, I have been studying extra long hours for this last block of school/finals which ended on Friday. Its official, I have now completed my second year of medical school (with the exception of taking Step 1 USMLE which is coming up in June). I decided to take the weekend off before diving in to the 10-12 hour-a-day study routine that will be my life for the next 5ish weeks. Great life choice.
So far this weekend I have attended a crawfish boil with friends, cleaned my apartment, gone for a hike, bought a bridesmaid dress, gotten groceries, watched an entire season of a TV show, had dinner with friends, went for a hike (and am going on another in a few hours) and now, baked biscotti.
Confession: I have only once made biscotti, and it was grain-free.
Confession: I am currently obsessed with almond flavoring, and after a discussion at dinner last night, I decided I needed to bake something with it, so here you go.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti (Adopted from smitten kitchen)

3/4 cup toasted almonds (roughly chopped)
2 oz coarsely chopped dark chocolate
2 1/2 cups flour, plus flour for work surface
1/2 cup Dutch-style cocoa powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/3 cups sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds either on the stove or in the oven, whichever you prefer and however you can do it without burning them :).
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, dark chocolate, salt, baking soda and baking powder together and set aside.
3. Beat eggs lightly, just until blended, in mixing bowl with whisk or in electric mixer. Remove two tablespoons of egg mixture to small dish and set aside. Add in almond extract. Beat sugar into remaining eggs until blended. Stir in flour mixture to form soft dough. (So I mixed the eggs into the flour instead of the other way around, I wouldn't recommend that direction, it was difficult to get all the flour incorporated). 
4. Divide the dough in half and place one portion on a well-floured work surface. (She is not kidding about this.) With floured hands, pat it into a six-inch square. Scatter half the almonds on the dough and press them into the surface. Roll the dough into a cylinder about 2 inches in diameter and 12 to 15 inches long. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place the roll of dough on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Brush the tops of both rolls with the reserved egg. (If you don't have a pastry brush, no worries, I don't either, I used my fingers... its a little sticky but it gets the job done).
5. Place in the oven and bake about 20 minutes, until firm to the touch. Transfer to a cutting board and cut on an angle into slices one-half-inch thick. (I let them cool a bit then scored the top with a serrated knife and then actually cut them with my sharp chef knife) Return the slices to the baking sheet, laying them on their cut sides, and return them to the oven. Bake another 20 minutes, until they are crisp and dry. Allow to cool completely before storing or serving.

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