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.
Happy dunking!!!Read More
Did you know it’s PENGUIN season? Or as I like to say (apparently) PINGUIN. I also pronounce it in a New England accent. It’s strange. It happens. I say a lot of words strangely compared to other Ohioans. But they are normal to me and I am in no rush to correct my weirdness. Plus, if I did change, then I would no longer be Mallory, but a polished version…and where is the fun in that?
So, yes, I like penguins. Who doesn’t? They are dressed up birds. God gave them tuxedos for their daily attire. Seriously, they are top notch birds. Fancy. Plus, they waddle. Which is hilarious to watch. A waddling bird in a tux….funny. That is the reason that I like them so much, they make me giggle. And then the giggling turns into all out laughter, and then the laughter turns into a cackle. So penguins make me cackle. I love it.
You can guess then that I was ecstatic when recently, penguins suddenly became the new Christmas animal/decoration. Have you noticed this shift? I have and maybe its because I am looking for them, but penguins are everywhere when the Christmas season rolls around. (and lets be serious here…it is no where near Christmas season yet, but more like Thanksgiving season, but the poor turkey gets the shaft…Halloween is over and here comes Christmas. Poor Tom.) Anywho…today, I bought 3 penguin ornaments (my tree is more or less penguin themed). Target, World Market, and Jo-Ann Fabrics were decked out in Christmas. I couldn’t resist.
I was already in the holiday season/mood. I was weak already. Not only do I have this urge to put my Christmas tree up, but I made these here gingerbread chocolate chip biscotti this morning. Gingerbread just hollers Christmas. I didn’t have a chance against the penguin onslaught.
Biscotti…the perfect companion to any coffee or hot chocolate break. Actually, it is great with a glass of red wine or a cold glass of milk. Trust me. I tested this theory. Extensively. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it.
I was a little leery of the chocolate gingerbread combination, but then I thought…what doesn’t go well with chocolate? OK, maybe eggs, but that is like the only thing I can think of right now. So, I went for it. And guess what? Home Run my friends. Home Run. I love these crunchy slices of heaven. I am generally not a crunchy cookie fan, but these are my exception. I hope they become your exception too!
Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Adapted from Joy of Baking
1+3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, divided
3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Ground Clove
2 Large Eggs
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 Cup Molasses
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Almonds, thinly sliced
1 Cup Chocolate Chips, milk chocolate
Food Processor (if do not have food processor, then use 1/2 cup instant oats and 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Process 1/2 cup of old fashioned rolled oats until finely ground.
In large mixing bowl, combine processed ground rolled oats, remaining rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and clove. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, molasses, and vanilla.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add chocolate chips and almonds, mix to combine. ( I had to use a wooden spoon to complete mixing.)
Empty dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two. Shape each half into a log, about a 12 inches long and 2 inches wide (give or take). Transfer logs onto parchment lined baking sheet and place in oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300ºF. After 10 minutes, cut each log into one inch slices. Cut on the diagonal to make biscotti longer and more traditional looking. Place back on parchment lined cookie sheet, cut side down, and bake for 7 minutes, flip slices over, and bake for an additional 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before enjoying. Store in air tight container. These also can be frozen.Read More