Two-Bite Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Cookies, Bars and Biscotti

Yield: about 6 dozen biscotti
Recipe: 89/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 38

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    Chocolate. Almonds. Bite size. This recipe was a bit more complex than others but is very well explained, utilizes some of my favorite ingredients and generates a ton of biscotti. I just had to try it. I found that there was a little something something missing in the taste of these biscotti, but I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on it. Maybe it is the use of cocoa powder as opposed to other types of chocolate that changed the flavor profile of these compared to what I am used to. They have a nice bite and flavor to them nonetheless. Furthermore, keep in mind that this recipe was designed to make biscotti, so they are dry and harder than cookies, which is normal and to be enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate!

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ₁⁄₈ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Using a hand or stand mixer fitter with the whip attachment, whip the eggs and sugar on high speed until they hold a ribbon when the beaters are lifted, about 3 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Fold these dry ingredients into the egg mixture.
  4. Scrape the batter into a pipping bag fitted with a large plain round tip, and pipe three rows of batter, about 12 inches long and 1 ½ inches across, onto each tray. The batter will be the consistency of cake batter and so a bit liquidy for pipping. You will need to move fast! Leave about 2 inches between each row.
  5. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the sliced almonds on top of the biscotti batter on each tray.
  6. Bake for about 16 minutes, until the tops of the biscotti appear dry. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. In the meantime, lower the temperature of the oven to 325°F.
  7. Transfer each row of biscotti to a cutting board and slice on the diagonal into thin biscotti that are about ¾ inch wide. Return the biscotti to the baking tray and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

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Valerie

Apple-Raisin Walnut Bars

Cookies, Bars and Biscotti

Yield: about 20 bars (one 8-inch square pan)
Recipe: 88/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 63

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     Oh how the months have passed me by! They fled at the speed of light. Almost December already! Finally having some free time on my hand and a spare apple to use, I decided to make these apple-raisin walnut bars. Let me tell you, these are delightful!! They are ultra moist with all the right flavors: apple, the sweetness of raisins and that touch of cinnamon. I had never used applesauce in a recipe, especially not combined with grated apples, but this combination generated such moistness that I will use this trick in the future. Let’s not forget the pleasant texture and nutty flavor provided by the walnuts. Don’t be fooled by the presence of raisins, this recipe makes for a delicious dessert or late-night snack. If you closed your eyes you (maybe) even wouldn’t know that they’re there. You have to trust me on this one. Go for it.

Ingredients for bars:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup walnut pieces

Ingredients for glaze:

  • ⅓  cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or apple juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper so that the paper comes up the sides.
  2. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and beat after each addition.
  4. Stir in the applesauce and vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and salt. Add this to the butter mixture and beat well until blended.
  6. Stir in the grated apple, raisins and walnut pieces. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the pan comes out clean. When there is about 15 minutes left of baking, start preparing the glaze.
  7. For the glaze, stir all the ingredients together in a small saucepot except for the vanilla extract. Bring up to a simmer, stirring often. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  8. Once the cake comes out of the oven, pour the glaze over the hot cake and let it cool completely in the pan before removing it to slice into bars. Enjoy!

Valerie