Chocolate Almond Biscotti

January 27th, 2020 · 32 Comments

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What do you bring to a Superbowl if you’re not particularly interested in “football” foods?  Well, if you’re me, you bring Chocolate Almond Biscotti.

To me, the most fun thing about making biscotti is to hear the incredulous voices of your friends say, “you made this?”  Unlike other cookies, I think that people somehow assume that these are hard to make (they’re not).  Throughout the night, I kept hearing, “but you didn’t make the biscotti, did you?  Really!?!”  After an hour or two of that, my little ego was doing quite well, thank you very much.

I love making biscotti, in part because it’s such a hearty cookie.  Once you’ve eaten a piece or two, you don’t get that uncomfortable sugar rush that you get from regular cookies (maybe because of the nuts?), you just feel happy and satisfied.  And they might actually soak up a beer or two.  See?  Perfect Superbowl food.

That being said, you know what goes really well with Superbowl biscotti?  A big bag of cool ranch doritos.  Hey, it was the superbowl.  And holy cow, do I love doritos…

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Chocolate Almond Biscotti

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for the almonds
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup raw unsalted almonds

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Chop almonds into small pieces.
3. In a saute pan, on medium heat, toast almond pieces in one tablespoon of olive oil for approximately 2 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar. Mix in the vanilla, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and eggs.
5. Add 1 cup of flour, then salt, and baking powder, then final 1/2 cup flour.
6. Mix the toasted nuts into the batter.
7. Divide dough in half. Form two logs on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until logs are slightly golden. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 275 degrees.
9. Cut logs at a diagonal angle (approximately 30 degrees) into 3/4″ thick slices.
10. Lay cookies on their sides on parchment cookie sheet. Bake approximately 9 more minutes, cool, and serve.

Makes about 20-24 biscotti.

Tags: desserts · food

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream

January 6th, 2020 · 76 Comments

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream from Sugarlaws

Usually, I am a lazy person when I make ice cream.  That means no custard bases for me — my ice creams have milk, cream and sugar, but never will you see an egg yolk in the ingredient list. 

But when I thought about a traditional vanilla bean recipe, I realized that if I wanted the subtle, deep flavor that accompanies the best vanilla recipes, it needed to be a custard base. 

And, even more importantly, it needed a really good vanilla bean.  When I was contacted by Singing Dog Vanilla a month or two ago, I agreed to try their vanilla beans, not really knowing what quality they’d be.  When they arrived, I was so impressed with the biodegradable packaging and the “Free Trade Plus” program they use for their farmers.  But, as great a selling point as both of those are, they would have meant nothing if the beans hadn’t been good.

And they weren’t good — they were amazing.  Without hesitation, I will say that they were the best vanilla beans I’ve ever gotten my hands on, and I’ve bought them locally from spice importers in NYC, in bottles and packages in grocery stores, and tried them in cooking classes.  These were so moist and fresh, and I got more seeds out of one bean than I usually do out of two — I would have felt totally comfortable using half of one of these beans in the recipe, still guaranteeing strong vanilla flavor.

Which brings me to the exciting news: Two of you, lucky readers, can win a package of these vanilla beans I’m raving about!  Just leave a comment to this post, and I’ll pick two winners randomly next week.  Hopefully you guys will love them as much as I do!

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream from Sugarlaws

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1/4 cup honey

DIRECTIONS

Over low heat, mix the heavy cream, sugar and egg yolks, and heat, stirring frequently with a whisk, until the mixture thickens and will coat the back of a spoon.  Remove the mixture from the heat, and whisk in the milk, vanilla bean seeds and honey, stirring until combined.  Process in an ice cream maker for 45 minutes, and then freeze overnight until the ice cream reaches the consistency you prefer.

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream from Sugarlaws

Tags: desserts · food

chocolate chocolate chip cookies

December 20th, 2019 · 28 Comments

Is there anything better than this?  These cookies are crisp chocolate cookie batter with melted, mushy chocolate chips sprinkled throughout.

Anything?  I thought not.

I’m posting some very delicious outfits this week, so I thought I should balance them out with an absolutely *delicious* new recipe.  These cookies are a chocolate lover’s dream — like a thin, gooey brownie in a slice, sweet and rich and absolutely perfect.  I dare you to look at this recipe and not think about it again today — go ahead, try.

Just save one for me when you finally cave in…

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, and then beat in the egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix well.  Roll rounded spoonfulls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, or until golden.  Once the cookies are out of the oven, press chocolate chips into the tops of each cookie, and let them stand in the pans for at least a minute before cooling them fully on wire racks.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Tags: desserts · food