Thursday, September 25, 2014

The World's Most Amazing Chocolate Biscotti with Walnuts and Chocolate Chunks

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Perfect to dunk...

Grandma and Sookie.  

My mom is a brown noser. Yep, I said it. In her late 60's, (not the 1960's) she went back to college to get her BA in Creative Writing. And you know how parents always tell their kids to engage their professors, make sure they know your name, go visit them during office hours? Well she took it a step further. She would bake cookies for her teachers. So these poor unassuming college professors are there to critique her plays and essays and they are derailed by the wafts of Pernigotti Cocoa and Madagascar Vanilla, toasted almonds and walnuts.

Are you surprised she was an A student? Teachers everywhere wish they were lucky enough to have a student like her! Of course, I may be exaggerating a little as she is a published author and a playwright lucky enough to have seen about 7 plays produced on stage. She walked across the stage at the Tropicana Dome to receive that diploma right at her 70th birthday!

She has an on going eye problem that frankly hasn't slowed her down a bit, but is the elephant in the room, so to speak. Her specialist for her eye problem is an amazing physician. I have accompanied her on more than one occasion and love, love, love this man! He has the bedside manner a patient could only dream of their physician having, he is engaging and spends a great amount of time covering her concerns. Although she is regular in his office, he never treats her appointments as routine. And he looks like he jumped off the pages of GQ. The man can flat out dress, all the way down to the ink pen. (I covet things like ink pens).

no nuts in these

So one day, she decides to bring the nice doctor some chocolate biscotti. It seems that the perfect doctor maybe isn't so keen on sharing. This happens when grown men are given possession of chocolate cookies, homemade, in the presence of a multitude of women. He just didn't want to start a cat fight with my mom's biscotti. I think it was pretty smart of him personally. But oh, now that he's had a taste of them, don't you know he wants more! So she went back this week, biscotti in tow. And the relief of the doctor, she told him she baked another batch for his staff! Whew! No more sneaking the cookies around.

And here is the recipe. Seriously worth hiding from others. But the caveat. Don't even bother making these with grocery cocoa or grocery vanilla. They would never pass the test. My Williams Sonoma may have shuttered its door,  but the vanilla can be found many places.  The Pernigotti Cocoa may be a bit tougher to find.  And when it comes to toasting your nuts, trust me.  Toasting stovetop in a pan is the trick.  If you're like me, you are doing a dozen things at one time, and the nuts toasting in the oven are forgotten...until you smell them.  Then, it's too late!  So, get the ovens preheated. We're baking biscotti!

Chocolate Biscotti

Combine and set aside, sifting is always a good idea...
4 1/2 C flour
2 tea. baking powder
1 tea. salt
1/2 c Pernigotti Cocoa (Williams Sonoma)

3/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chunks

3 C sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp),
4 large eggs, (room temp)
3 tea. Madagascar vanilla (Williams Sonoma)

Cream the wet ingredients until fully mixed.  Add the dry ingredients slowly and mix until no dry spots are found.  Add in chocolate and walnuts. You can add espresso powder for a mocha taste, almond extract if you like that flavor. It is a great cookie to try new ideas with!

On parchment paper on baking sheet, shape into 2 logs, 2 1/2 inches wide x 9 1/2 long x 1 inch high and bake at 350 degrees about 35 minutes. Cool about 30 minutes. Slice into 1/2 inch slices and put on large wire rack (so they toast on both sides) for 10 minutes. Cool before storing.

Make some coffee, and invite me over!