We were supposed to be on our way back to Maryland today, but car trouble has kept us in Michigan a few more days. Tomorrow we will have Chris' car towed to the dealership and have them look at it. Since they probably won't be able to get it fixed tomorrow, and we have to be back at work on Wednesday, we will likely take one of his parent's cars back to Maryland. Then, once his car is fixed, they will drive down and we will make an exchange. It's a big old pain, but the good news is that the car is under warranty and we have an easy and relatively painless solution to the problem.
I have had a cold the last few days -- just a mild sniffling, sneezing, coughing sort of thing -- but nasty enough I haven't felt like doing much, which is why I haven't been baking. But this morning I woke up (mostly) clear-headed and knew as soon as I woke up that I would want to bake today, and for whatever reason, I had biscotti on my mind.
I wasn't sure which recipe I was going to make, but I have both my Dorie book and my Pastry Queen book with me and I knew both had biscotti recipes -- however, the Pastry Queen recipe is huge (6 1/2 dozen), and the two Dorie recipes called for things Chris' parents didn't have on hand, therefore I turned to baking bites. She had a couple of interesting recipes, but the one I knew Chris would like, and that I knew we happened to have the key ingredients for, was Nutella biscotti.
I'm not a huge fan of hazelnuts, and therefore of Nutella, but Chris and his parents like it so I figured what the hell. Plus, it made a reasonably small batch and it was certainly a combination that had never occured to me before so it was definitely worth a try. The biscotti actually aren't that bad. The Nutella gives them a nice, rich flavor, but combined with the other ingredients, the hazelnut flavor is muted a bit, which I liked.
The dough for this biscotti is quite sticky though, which made it kind of pain to handle and slice. That wasn't helped any by the fact that I made one big log of biscotti rather than two or three of them, so the whole thing was a bit unwieldy and pretty messy to deal with.
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup nutella
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup hazelnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add sugar and continue beating on high setting for 2 minutes. Beat in nutella.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips and hazelnuts, if using.
Divide dough into 2 or 3 logs with well floured hands and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press logs into rectangles roughly ½ inch thick.
Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Remove logs from oven.
Turn oven down to 300F.
Using a serrated knife, cut logs into 1/3-1/2 inch slices. Arrange on baking sheet and return to oven.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, turn biscotti over and bake an additional 10-12 minutes (depending upon the thickness of your slices). Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.