May 10, 2014

In a Fit of Lunacy

It always starts so innocently - in this case, with a pint of strawberries just too perfectly red and ripe to pass up. The madness escalated with the discovery of a soft, fluffy goat cheese from a local farm. I tried these together, and they made a marvelous snack. Marvelous, but not perfect.

I craved crunchy, and no mere cracker or cookie would do. Chocolate, that would be the ticket, and crispy, but not too sweet, and...


Now that's lunacy. Long-time readers know I'm no pastry chef. Not being able to taste and adjust at the last minute freaks me right out. But I was determined, and Chef Google pointed me to this double chocolate biscotti.

The Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup white sugar 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate, chopped 
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
All of which I happen to keep around pretty much all the time.

Except white chocolate, which, let's be honest, wouldn't survive an hour under my roof.

My baking paranoia makes me pretty disciplined about following the instructions on these things. Plus, twice-baked fancy European cookies? That's a frighteningly more complex project than I've ever tackled. 

Anyway, butter and sugar, into KitchenAid the Great.

Looks "light and fluffy to me"

Next came the cocoa powder, which y'all may be aware has a fine, fairy-dust like consistency. Which in turn led to a choking cloud of chocolate despite my care in adding it to the bowl. In short, I recommend a drywall mask.

At this point I should also note I was sorely tempted just to scuttle this whole idea and spread that chocolate-sugar-butter wonder on some toast. Cuz I'm classy like that. Instead I threw in the baking powder right quick, thus committing myself to the follow-through.

This, I figured, would be the only sucky part: stirring in the flour by hand. And yeah, it sucked...

Turns out Teflon spoons are super-bendy

Until I remembered I bought a dough cutter in a previous fit of lunacy involving biscuits. (Sensing the theme here?)

Muuuuch better!

Here's where the "double" part of double chocolate goes in (and I pedantically reflect on how it should really be "triple" chocolate if you add the white...)

Oh for Pete's sake just cook, woman.

Things got intense for a while, as I mixed in these chips and then rolled the dough into logs.

I imagine this part would offer a stellar opportunity for a brave mom to involve her kids in the process, because Play Dough isn't the only dough awesome for playing. And it ain't like my grownup self didn't slop chocolate all over half the kitchen and up to my elbows. 

It was messy, is what I'm saying. But here's what I ended up with, popped in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.

Chocolate logs. Snicker.

Note: I greased the cookie sheet with butter, because fuck Crisco. Gross. I was admittedly worried I'd have to wrestle these free, but that didn't come to pass. After 25 minutes at 375, behold...

Chocolate, speed bumps, I guess?

After cooling for an hour, I sliced 'em up like... like... Okay every metaphor in my mind right now is terrifying. Moving on.

Like this

Then back onto the cookie sheet to bake at 325, for 9 minutes on each side.

Flipping these was like finger-wrestling Satan. They were hot, is what I'm saying.

When it was all said and done I ended up with what looked remarkably like a biscotti. (I know, every Italian mother in America just gasped in horror. I beg forgiveness and offer tribute.)

Crispy, chocolatey tribute.

Despite being a Herculean feat of delayed gratification (all told the project took three hours from emptying the cupboards to boxing up the cookies), it was so totally worth it.

Maybe I'm feeling loony enough to try biscuits again...

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