I made cookies. Cookies to be enjoyed with coffee. And on Mondays, coffee is essential. But if you are like me, coffee is essential each and every day…(as are cookies!) Not because you need the jolt of caffeine to get you going in the morning or through the dreaded afternoon lag…but because you truly enjoy the flavor.
I have loved coffee since I was a small kiddo – which makes me think that the old wives tail about coffee stunting one’s growth is, well spot on. On Sunday mornings, after church, grandma and grandpa would come by for a visit and a cup of coffee. Grandma and Grandpa took theirs black, while mom and dad took theirs with a splash of milk. How cute, right? I wonder if each couple always drank their coffee alike or if one conformed to the other.
On these Sunday mornings, I would beg for a cup of coffee. And on most occassions I would be granted my request. I took mine with lots of milk. It was more like coffee flavored milk, but it was warm, in a coffee cup, and I got to sit at the table and listen to the grown ups talk. Plus, if I didn’t slurp, I could drink it with a spoon. I don’t ever remember my brothers begging for coffee…which is why to this day they are over six feet tall and don’t drink coffee, and neither do their wives…I am starting to think that if and how one takes his/her coffee is a pretty strong indicator of a couples compatibility.
Just recently I have began drinking espresso in the morning. All thanks to Jenna over on Eat, Live, Run (an AMAZING blog, give it a go, you will love her too)…I read her blog daily and a few weeks ago she turned me onto stove top espresso makers. I was always under the impression that you needed a fancy shmancy top of the line Italian counter top hogging machine to make espresso. Boy was I wrong. Like way wrong. Let’s just say I now cruise into work on a true caffeine high…Italian style, double espresso style.
Whichever way it is brewed , in the afternoon, I like to enjoy my caffeine with a bit of something sweet. I don’t think I am alone on this one. My go to is most generally chocolate. A square of dark chocolate or a Hershey Kiss…small and simple. But sometimes I want something a bit more special. Something a bit more substantial. Something dunkable. Enter in biscotti.
Chocolate biscotti to be exact.
On Saturaday morning, I woke up with biscotti on the brain and by the time the sun was up…biscotti was in the oven and the coffee was brewing. When it comes to coffee and cookies, I mean business! Traditional recipes for biscotti do not contain butter – a cookie without butter…what?!?- instead eggs are used as the binder and since biscotti are supposed to have a considerable ‘snap’ or ‘crunch’ to them, butter is not needed to keep things moist. These chocolate walnut biscotti are not overly sweet and are for the true chocolate lover…containing a good dose of cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips. I will be packing one of these in my lunch all week to enjoy with my afternoon coffee…
Oh and for those wondering…I like my coffee strong with a splash of cream or half and half.
Walnut Chocolate Biscotti
Makes about 2 dozen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 Cup Walnuts
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder ( I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
pinch of salt ( about 1/4 teaspoon)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
3 Large Eggs
1 Large Egg
2 Tablespoons Water
1-2 Tablespoon Sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place walnuts in small skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. You will smell them once they are done, trust me! Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, roughly chop walnuts and set aside.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a mixing bowl, beat together 3 eggs, sugar, and vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Once those are well incorporated, stir in the walnuts and mini chocolate chips – you may have to forgo the mixer and use a wooden spatula.
Empty out contents onto a lightly floured surface and divide dough into two equal parts. Form each half into a log of sorts, measuring about 12-15 inches long and 2 inches wide. Gently pat the tops of the logs to flatten them a bit. Transfer logs to a parchment lined baking sheet, several inches apart – they will rise and spread just a bit!
Prepare egg wash…combine egg and water in a small bowl and whisk until frothy.
Liberally brush on egg wash onto the tops of each log ( you will not use all of it ). Sprinkle the tops with about 1 tablespoon of sugar per log.
Place tray into preheated oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for about 15 minutes. Once cool to the touch, transfer logs to a cutting board and with a serrated knife cut each log into 1/2 inch cookies on the diagonal. Lay cookies back onto baking sheet, cut side up, and return them to the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. The longer they stay in the crisper they will be. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for upto 2 weeks.