Tuesday, January 10, 2012

cookie o' the month...

It's been a year. The standard, "where does the time go?" really does apply. Baker Beth has given us a year of baking wonderment and tasty good times. I would have been happy with that. I didn't want to press my luck and as for more, yet I did. I'm greedy that way.

So, Baker Beth is back for more sugary goodness and this time, it's personal and it's biscotti! I loves me some biscotti. The problem? Most store bought ones suck. They just do. When you have the good stuff, the really authentic great tasting kind (see recipe below) you wonder why biscotti hasn't become the new cupcake. Maybe, just maybe it's best it doesn't. This way you and I can savor the delicate deliciousness, without all those pesky trendy biscotti boutiques popping up everywhere with more mediocre versions of the stuff.   Enjoy, -angelo

P.S. Fine Cooking not only thinks it "fine"---so do it's readers. 5stars all the way, baby. Read all about it HERE.

It all started one year ago today.

Where does the time go?

For my second baking trip 'round the sun on the angelo:HOME blog, Angelo requested that I shift my focus from reinterpreting recipes to creating them. Which is a fine idea (he seems to have a lot of those), as that way, in theory, I can use said recipes beyond this site. In a book, maybe? Perhaps.

But apparently, my brain has not yet fully recovered from all the holiday hubbub, for as much as I sat and thought and thought and sat in recent days, nothing interesting was coming to mind, nothing to make me say, "Ooh! Yes! That!"

So, I decided to ease into the new year with this recipe, one that I did indeed create, one that has made many appearances in Fine Cooking publications: in the magazine, then online, then in a magazine special issue, and now in a cookbook (which is on sale, by the way).

These biscotti were inspired by my fondness for Almond Joy. I must say, if you're any kind of fan of biscotti, chocolate, coconut, almonds, butter, or brown sugar, you should give these a try. Right now, my house, I have to tell you, smells amazing.

Enjoy them with espresso. Enjoy them with milk. Enjoy them with whatever beverage you please. But do enjoy them. They're scrumptious. And I don't use that word lightly.

Happy New Year, kids!

— Beth

Coconut Chocolate Almond Biscotti
(Recipe by yours truly; appears in Fine Cooking Cookies: 200 favorite recipes for cookies, brownies, bars & more, Published by The Taunton Press, 2011)

10 1/8 oz. (2 1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. table salt
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup firmly packed sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed after each addition until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and then the coconut until well combined.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. The dough will be sticky. With the mixer still on low, mix in the almonds and chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment. Divide the dough into equal halves and place on the cookie sheet. Working on the sheet, shape each half into a loaf about 10 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 3/4 inch high. Bake until the tops are browned, cracked, and crusty, and spring back slightly when gently pressed, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool about 30 minutes on the cookie sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Transfer each loaf to a cutting board and with a sharp serrated bread knife, cut 1/2-inch slices crosswise on the diagonal. When slicing, hold the sides of the loaf near each cut to keep the slices neat. Put the slices cut side down on the cookie sheet and bake until the biscotti are dried and the cut surfaces are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack and let the biscotti cool completely. The biscotti may give slightly when pressed but will harden as they cool.

Beth Note: These aren't like some rock-hard biscotti you may have had. They're crunchy, but not teeth-harmingly so.

Further Beth Note: When cutting these, saw carefully and let the weight of the knife do most of the work. You want to cut through the almonds, not jam the knife into them and pull them out of the slices.

1 comment:

Beth said...

You? Greedy?

Only in Opposite World.

You make a fine agent. Do you accept payment in biscotti?

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