Friday, October 25, 2013

Pecan Brownie Biscotti

I'd brownify my desk lamp if I could.

Brownies make everything better.

They're easy to make and holy hell, they are like crack to a chocoholic. Shoot me up with some brownie batter 'cause you know I need it!

A desk lamp probably can't be fooled into thinking it's a brownie, but you know what can? Biscotti.

I used melted dark chocolate and the mixing technique of a classic brownie recipe to build a decadent and crunchy yet tender, melt-in-your-mouth cookie. Let me explain... At first bite it's crunchy, but not hard - more like that crumbly crunch? - and then as you chew it quickly softens and sends you in the direction of brownieville. The melty chunks of dark chocolate throughout every bite help too.

TIP: Be sure to let the biscotti logs cool sufficiently before slicing for the second bake. That way they won't crumble too much as you cut - remember, these are tender and full of chocolate.

Choose a really good quality dark chocolate.

How do I know my chocolate is good or not?

It has a cocoa content of at least 50% and the only fat listed in the ingredient list is cocoa butter. No butter oil and definitely no hydrogenated vegetable oil!

For dark chocolate, this is what you want to see...
Ingredients: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, salt, natural flavour (typically vanilla).

That's what chocolate looks like.

Is it too early to say this would be a nice addition to your Christmas cookie list?

Winning cookie exchange material?

You better not get rum balls in return - Not fair. I'd call that a downright rip off.

Brownie Biscotti
makes about 28 cookies

1 2/3 cups (235 g ) all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup (28 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup (84 g) unsalted butter
170 g/6 oz bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa), finely chopped and divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp espresso coffee granules
175 g (3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) caster sugar
2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Sift in cocoa powder and whisk to blend evenly; set aside.

Melt together butter and 85 g of chocolate until smooth. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract and coffee granules until smooth. Add sugar and whisk vigorously until thickened and slightly lightened in colour. Stir though warm melted chocolate mixture. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir gently until almost combined. Add remaining chopped chocolate and pecans and fold through. The dough will be moist and sticky. Let it stand for a few minutes to firm up and become easier to work with.

Divide the dough in half and form each portion into a 12 x 2 ½-inch wide log along the length of the baking tray. Flatten each log so that they are about 1 inch high. Bake until dull and cracked at the surface, about 20 minutes. They should still feel slightly soft in the center. Let cool completely on pan. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Slice cooled logs into 1-inch wide pieces. Place slices back on baking sheet and bake again until slightly drier, about 10 minutes. Maybe dip in more chocolate? Just saying...

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