Oh friends, I’ve been going nuts in the cookbook shopping spree department lately; why can’t I just be addicted to clothes like every other girl? Don’t let that fool you; I find myself walking in cinematic slow motion past the 5th Avenue Anthropologie every night dreaming up outfit options for date night, and I totally indulge in their scented candles and cute plates… I can’t resist.
But cookbooks are truly my guilty pleasure, plus, they are so much cheaper than those vintage dresses (um, $298.00?!), and they never make me feel fat or blister my feet (damn stilettos).
Books are pretty, and quiet, and useful. Packed with information, recipes, and gorgeous photography; I seem to find new books weekly that I just have to have and stubbornly continue to think about until they are mine, all mine. I’m greedy pants like that.
I blame the heat; it has powers over me I can’t control. Just as the Summer heat began it’s wretched and sultry suffocation of the city a seemingly harmless habit began building a solid formation in my daily life.
It seemed like an innocent enough way to spend lazy Summer afternoons…
Putter over to the local book store, grab a latte and 7 cookbooks, then tuck away in a quiet icy pocket and stare at the pages until my eyeballs are sore and security is giving me the hairy eyeball because I’ve been there for 4 hours (?!?) causing me to swiftly leave… but not before buying 3 new books and another latte; iced really is the only way to go these days, and walking home in merriment with my new purchases.
Packed shelves overflowing with books sit in my minuscule room, and lets just say the novel to cook book ratio could induce a good chuckle by any sane mind. Guilty confession time- I really never cook from these beautiful books I so desperately desire. I get nervous cooking from books that have no reviews or community feedback panels, and usually end up clicking my way to epicurious or one of my favorite blogs to read 500 reviews before investing in a dish worth giving a shot.
It’s not really that I’m a coward as much as I really, really hate bad food. And I won’t eat it; money ends up literally being chucked in the garbage bin, and that my friends is not what we’re trying to do here. Yet small miracles do happen. Things can change. Biscotti can be made, and well, from the pages of a book. This recipe broke the mold… rebel biscotti. The book is “The Fearless Baker” , a birthday present that came all the way from LA to bring me mouthwatering recipes and tips for being fabulously fearless in the kitchen; thank you wonderful and kind friend. Brimming with creative and delicious recipes, and step by step instructions; including side notes of the hilarious kitchen banter that happened while testing these recipes out, it’s hard not to want to make a mad dash for the sugar and butter and get baking.
Do as I do when it comes to this one.
Let’s talk biscotti for a few minutes; shall we?
-Crunchy twice baked chocolate cookie
-Dipped in melted chocolate
-Rolled in fluffy bed of sweet coconut flakes
– Oh Lord you need to eat 3 of these right now
This recipe makes a ton, and freezes quite nicely… although I doubt them lasting that long. They are coffees best friend, ice creams perfect spoon, and just as sinfully decadent just as they are… which is perfect.
Chocolate Biscotti– The Fearless Baker
Makes about 36 biscotti
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Large pinch kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces dark chocolate (58 to 62 percent cacao), chopped or broken into 1-inch pieces
1 to 1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven ti 350 degrees (F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the pecan pieces in one layer in a small baking pan and put it in the (preheated) oven. Set a time for 10 minutes and check the pecans to see if they’re a light golden brown. If not, toast 2 minutes longer. Set aside to cool.
By hand in a medium bowl, stir the pecans with the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another medium bowl whisk the eggs with the vanilla.
Switch to a spoon or rubber spatula and stir the eggs into the flour/cocoa mixture until the mixture come together into a shaggy but cohesive dough. Since the dough can be difficult to stir, don’t be afraid to finish gathering and mixing it together by hand. You don’t want to see any big dry clumps.
Turn the dough out on a slightly floured work surface and divide in half. Gently roll each half into a log about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the logs and work surface with more flour if they’re sticking. Place the logs on the baking sheet with a few inches separating them. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch and they no longer appear shiny or wet where the logs have cracked.
Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees (F).
Let the biscotti cool for 10 minutes. Slice the logs into 1/2- to 3/4- inch slices. Place on the baking sheet cut-side down and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
While the biscotti are baking, melt the chocolate by putting it in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. (You can use a double boiler if you have one.) Put the coconut on a plate or in a wide bowl.
Dip a cut side of each cooled biscotti into the melted chocolate and then in the coconut. Place it chocolate side up on a rack or back on the baking sheet. Continue to dip all the biscotti.
The chocolate needs to harden before you serve them, so if you can resist, let them sit for at least an hour.