Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chocolate Biscotti


I love Sunday mornings in my house. I wake up late to the smell of coffee and the sound of my cat padding down the hallway, whining to be fed. I get myself out of bed slowly, wash my face and brush my teeth in the bathroom, where cream colored light slants through the skylight and softens my sleepy reflection in the mirror, and then head downstairs to the kitchen. There are bagels on the counter—our Sunday ritual—and a kettle of water is already on the stove for my morning cup of tea.

But the best part of the morning is already on the table, huge and gray and sprawling and already divided into piles by my mother. It’s the Sunday New York Times, possibly the one thing besides chocolate and my copy of Little Women that I absolutely cannot live without.

The Kaplan family is very specific about reading the paper. We all have our favorite sections—my mother likes the Styles, my dad reads the Sports section first, and I always reach for the Week in Review before anything else. We’re stingy about it too—my dad won’t give me the front section till I hand him the Week in Review, my mom won’t let anyone touch the magazine until she’s finished the Sunday crossword puzzle. But there are few places in the world I’d rather be than sitting at my kitchen table on a cozy Sunday morning, a cup of chamomile tea and a toasted pumpernickel bagel in front of me, and the Sunday paper in my hands. I love the familiarity, the way certain writers’ tones are always the same. I love that the “laugh lines” are always on the second page of the Week in Review and that Thomas Friedman’s columns are always on the left hand side of the first opinions page. But it also changes every day; there are new things to learn, new articles to ignite my sense of indignation and give me another cause to devote myself to.

These biscotti, deliciously crunchy and chocolate-y, go perfectly with the Sunday morning paper. Eat them plain or dunk them in your coffee--either way you'll find yourself reaching for seconds (and then thirds) before you even finish the front section.

Chocolate Biscotti
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
a little less than two cups of flour (I had exactly two cups and the dough was really crumbly and not all the flour mixed in--I might go for 1 ¾ next time)
½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time and mix until well combined. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients a little at a time and stir to form a stiff dough.

Split the dough into two balls and place one on each baking sheet. Form the mounds of dough into slightly flattened logs, about 4 inches by 8 inches. Bake until firm, about 20 minutes.

Remove the biscotti from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. With a serrated knife, carefully cut biscotti at an angle into 1-inch thick slices. Arrange biscotti cut sides down back on the baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes more, flipping them about halfway through to ensure that they crisp on both sides.

I kept the dough plain, but these would be delicious with chocolate chips, almonds, or dried cranberries in them. The original recipe called for pistachios, which I’m sure would also be tasty and would look beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. I find the pictures of the biscotti adorable - especially the shot in the grass. :)