Saturday, August 23, 2008

cookie carnival: august

two more of my managers are leaving for a different victoria's secret. that calls for two different baked goods.

this was the perfect opportunity to try out the recipe for this month's cookie carnival - chocolate hazelnut biscotti. considering the recipe says it yield 4 dozen, i was kinda waiting for an outlet to unload all that biscotti on. the recipe was pretty straightforward and i'd say that the hardest part was finding the hazelnuts. it's not that they're hard to come by, it's just that i typically can only find them in teeny tiny packages...and i kinda needed a lot. they were worth it though and they added a nice nutty flavor to balance out the sweetness of the chocolate. if i do these again, though, i would probably omit the whole hazelnuts and just add some more ground up ones. just personal preference though :]


i like this picture because you can really see the bits of ground-up hazelnuts. also, you can see how i left them kinda soft on the insides. i know, i know, biscotti is supposed to be crispy and stuff. but isn't that because it's supposed to be dunked in coffee or something? i'm more of a ice blended frap kinda girl...so i left them a little softer.


somehow i only got like two dozen out of these. probably because i didn't slice them thin enough. it was hard to slice them thin with all those whole hazelnuts in there! oh well, it was the perfect amount considering i still had one more baked good to put in the box.

[ps: if you wanna join the cookie carnival, visit the clean plate club.]

so for treat #2, i wanted to use up some of the frozen berries that i got from trader joe's a while ago [before i remembered that i can't really eat a whole bag of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries]. i came across a recipe for whole grain blueberry buckle on baking bites and decided it would work with the mix of berries. and hurrah hurrah...i think i actually liked this better with the mix. the pink from the raspberries blended with the blue and purple from the other berries to make a really pretty, colorful batter. these pictures don't really do it justice because the flash washed out all the color and the no-flash made them look green :[ so use your imagination.


chocolate hazelnut biscotti
[from Bon App├ętit]

ingredients:
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, husked
3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Grind 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts in processor. Set aside. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Beat butter and sugar in another large bowl to blend. Add eggs and vanilla and almond extracts and beat until well blended. Beat in flour mixture. Mix in 1 cup whole toasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts.

Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece on baking sheet into 2 1/2-inch-wide by 14-inch-long log. Place logs on prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart (logs will spread during baking). Bake until logs feel firm when tops are gently pressed, about 35 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Using long wide spatula, transfer baked logs to cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut warm logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Then put them back in the oven to get them as crispy as you'd like.

whole grain mixed berry buckle
[from baking bites]

ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen)

Topping
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
2 tbsp butter, very soft


directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square (or 9-inch square) baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla extract. Stir well, mixing until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in blueberries and pour into prepared pan.

In a small bowl, make the topping. Whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in butter until mixture is crumbly and sand-like. Sprinkle evenly over batter.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20-30 minutes before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.


all together and ready to go :]