Sunday, April 29, 2012

Double Chocolate Biscotti

In honor of Priyanka and Reza's birthdays at work they requested "something chocolate" for their group meeting birthday treat.  I always want to try new recipes, so I decided that biscotti would be a fun thing to try and would be perfect for our afternoon group meeting.  Interestingly, very few of my group members had heard of biscotti, so I looked up the official definition and found that biscotti is of Italian origin and by definition must be "twice baked."  I didn't want my biscotti to be quite as hard as traditional biscotti so I modified the baking directions a bit.  If I had more time I would have melted some white chocolate and drizzled it on the side to make them prettier.  I think these would make a great holiday gift, are really easy to make and can be modified by adding nuts, white chocolate chips, etc.

Double Chocolate Biscotti
1/2 C butter, softened
2/3 C white sugar
1/4 C cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 C AP flour
3/4 C semisweet chocolate chips

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually beat in cocoa and baking powder, then beat on medium high speed for 2 minutes.
3. Beat in eggs one at a time.
4. Stir in flour at low speed until combined and then stir in chocolate chips.
5. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
7. Divide dough in half and form into two 9-inch logs.  Pat down slightly to about 1 inch thickness.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
9. Turn oven off and cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
10. Carefully cut into 1/2 in slices using a sharp knife and turn each slice so cut side is facing up.
11. Set oven to 325 degrees and bake again for 5 minutes.
12.  Remove from oven, carefully flip each slice to the other side and bake an additional 5-7 minutes.
13.  Place on cooling rack to cool completely.  Store in air tight container.

Difficulty: Medium
Debbie's Rating: 8.5

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Can't Believe They're Kosher for Passover Brownies

It's Passover time again, so I thought I would write about the dessert that I made for the first seder this year. My mom got this recipe for Passover brownies from a cooking class she took at our synagogue on Pittsburgh. The goal of Passover desserts is always to make something that doesn't taste like it's for Passover, which is hard, considering you can't use any flour! These brownies are actually really good and went over well at the seder. They are not the healthiest but hey, when you can't use flour, you end up using a lot of eggs and butter to get structure.

Passover Fudge Brownies
4 eggs
2 C sugar
1 C melted butter, slightly cooled
½ tsp salt
6 tbsp matzah cake meal
1 C cocoa
1 cup ground nuts (optional)
KP non-stick spray

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Sift matzah cake meal and cocoa. Set aside.
3. Beat eggs on medium high speed. Add sugar gradually and beat well.
4. Beat in melted butter and salt.
5. Add dry ingredients slowly, beating until fully combined. Stir in nuts.
6. Pour into a greased 9” x 13” metal pan.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 min until a toothpick comes out clean.

Difficulty: Easy
Debbie's Rating: 9
Hirsh's Rating: 9 (10 on a passover scale)