Butter softening tips. Do not microwave butter when baking.
Here is a tip for shaping sliced cookies. Roll the dough in a tube shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Cut an empty paper towel tube lengthwise and mold it around the dough to form a cylinder shape. Wrap tape or rubber band around the tube and refrigerate dough until firm. (Dough can also be frozen.)
When it’s time to bake, slice the cookies as you normally would. To keep the dough from getting warm and losing its shape, keep a portion of the dough in the mold as you are cutting slices.
I attempted to mold cookies with roof flashing a few years ago for the poppy seed recipe. This seems much less cumbersome.
This recipe from a Manhattan restaurant (www.unionsquarecafe.com) appeared in the New York Times. Having never tried baking chocolate biscotti, I decided it would be a good way to spend a rainy July 4th afternoon. I’m preparing a large cookie platter for a family reunion tomorrow and these will make it to the platter. I don’t think I’ll cook them twice as instructed in the recipe. I had no raw sugar in the house but used white sugar crystals from my stash of cookie decorating supplies.
Chocolate Biscotti (Union Square Cafe)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¾ cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon double-strength brewed espresso
- 3 large eggs
- 7 ½ ounces (1 rounded cup) small milk chocolate chips
- 1 large egg, beaten and mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12- by 17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick liner. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda; set aside.
- Using a heavy-duty electric mixer, cream together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter for 3 to 5 minutes at medium speed. Add vanilla extract and espresso. Mix for 10 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, mixing for 10 seconds at medium-low speed after each addition. Add sifted flour mixture and mix at low speed until dough comes together, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chocolate chips and mix just until chips are evenly incorporated, 15 to 20 seconds.
- Transfer dough to a work surface and divide in two, shaping into balls. Form each ball into a log 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Transfer logs to prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly. Brush tops of logs with egg wash and sprinkle each log with 1 tablespoon raw sugar. Bake until biscotti have spread, have a few cracks and bounce back slightly when pressed with fingertips, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut logs into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices. Place each slice with a cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or nonstick liner. Bake until firm, crisp and slightly dry, about 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or freeze for up to three months.
Measuring cups and spoons do not have to be boring. I am enjoying these gifts–colorful baking spoons and cups made with glass. They are prettier than pyrex but fragile so keep them away from young hands or clumsy adults. I have had them for more than two years so they are holding up well. They are my baking fine china.