Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Perfect Crunch

How many of you have tried biscotti from a coffee shop? I usually don't buy it, because it's way too crunchy for my liking. Even after dunking it in a cup of coffee, it hurts my teeth. There is one place here in Portland that makes biscotti that doesn't break your teeth, but that is another story.

I made the perfect biscotti today. Just crunchy enough, but still a teeny bit soft in the middle. It has mini chocolate chips in it to give just enough chocolate flavor. It's the perfect crunch to go with that hot cup of coffee or tea.

Did you know that biscotti translates to Itwice cooked in Latin? It comes from the words bis coctus. I just like to refer to them as Italian biscuits. In England, aren't biscuits cookies? It always makes me smile when my mom talks about having digestive biscuits on her trips to London.

This recipe is easy to make, and as the name implies, it is twice cooked. You first start out by mixing the ingredients, and then forming them into a log. After that you bake the log, slice when cooled and bake again. The results are tasty!

Biscotti before baking:
After baking. It puffs up a little.

Because I am an independent thinker (also known as stubborn), I don't cut the biscotti crosswise on a diagonal as the instructions indicate. I don't do this because I like all my biscotti to be equal size. There will be no skimping here! So, it's easier for me to cut in half, and in half again. The four quarters will each equal five biscotti. For people that aren't good at math, that is 20 biscotti total.

So, enjoy a biscotti with a cup of coffee, tea, or even as a sweet treat after dinner. There will be no teeth breakage here.

Chocolate Chip Biscotti
from: Weight Watchers

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.

3. With an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla until frothy, about 2 minutes. Stir the dry ingredients in just until moistened and dough forms. Shape the dough into a 13x3 inch log on baking sheet.

4. Bake log 30 minutes and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.

5. Cut warm log crosswise on a slight diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Stand slices, about an inch apart, on baking sheet and return to oven for 12 minutes. The centers will be soft, but biscotti will crisp when cooled.