White Chocolate & Almond Biscotti

If you’re a biscotti person, then this recipe is for you. Why? Because this biscotti is deliciously sweet, studded with pieces of white chocolate and has the crunch of toasted almonds. It doesn’t break your teeth when you try to bite into it without dipping it into hot coffee first. And, it still hold its shape if you’re into the whole dunking cookies into tea thing.

This recipe has been adapted from ‘The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook’, the 1995 edition, which my aunt gifted me from her cookbook collection. Needless to say, I used Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips which I hoarded back from Chicago earlier this year. January 2020, to be precise when the world still seemed travel and on the whole, more friendly.

My trip to Chicago was the last and only holiday I took this year. Had I known that this was it, I would have definitely bought half the Ghirardelli store and brought it back with me to Delhi. Not kidding. Also, perhaps a truckload of Cheetos Flaming Hot because they’re the best snack to munch on and as a responsible adult, I can make these healthy choices.

Anyway, my mantra this year is to keep reminding myself to “Make Lemonade”, in every little sense possible. I have become a “To-Do” list making fiend. I am not even close to ticking off every item on that list. This blog post is one of the items, and so here I am, making lemonade with a side of the best biscotti you’re going to make and feed yourself and/or your loved ones.

Without deviating from the topic at hand, the original recipe from the Cookbook features a ‘Double Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti’. I’m definitely a double chocolate person, but NOT a hazelnut person. Let’s just say I have borderline trust issues with those ordering sugary hazelnut coffee beverages. And, of course with the real devils, the ones who slather Nutella over EVERYTHING.

In my version of the White Chocolate & Almond Biscotti, you can switch out the white chocolate chips for milk or dark, but please don’t come at me about how white chocolate isn’t real chocolate to begin with. It tastes fabulous when used sparingly, so please. Meanwhile, once this biscotti converts you and your phobia that makes you stay away from the paler cousin of “real” chocolate, you might want to try out my White Chocolate & Raspberry Blondies – another FAB recipe.

Here’s what you need:

(The recipe makes about 2 Dozen Large Biscottis – Pshhh! American portions, am I right?)

  • 2 1/4 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • Nice pinch of salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Almond Extract (Vanilla works, if you don’t have almond extract handy)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Almonds
  • 3/4 Cup of White Chocolate Chips

Here’s what you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, baking power, baking soda, almonds and white chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, break in the eggs and trickle in the almond extract. Stir until well blended.

Start stirring the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture, little by little, making sure its well incorporated. Once the last bit of the egg mixture is incorporated in the mix, you want to stir until a rather wet dough comes together. (Don’t panic)

I divided the batter into two, which resulted in rather longish biscuits, but you can divide it into four too depending on how big your baking sheets are. So depending on how much dough you have and how big you want your biscuits (in this case, bigger is always better :P).

Once the dough is divided, on the prepared baking sheets, using lightly floured hands, shape each portion into 2x 10inch logs. When I was making it – I made one giant log which was more like 5x10inch . This in no way will effect your baking time or the way they taste. So again, depending on whether you’re making the whole recipe, or a half recipe – shape the biscotti logs.

The logs should be about 4 inches apart, so that they don’t come together into one massive mass.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden. They are done when the logs are firm to touch. Remove the baking trays from the oven. Let the biscotti mass cool for 15 mins or until cool enough to handle.

Lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees.

Transfer one log to a cutting board and cut into 1 inch wide cookies. Repeat with the remaining logs. Place the biscottis (cut side up) for their ‘bi’ bake. Bake for 20 mins until crisp and golden. Once done, remove from the oven, let it cool and check for crispness.

Let them cook completely before consuming, or in my case, diet coke works wonders to aid a burned tongue.

You can store these in an air tight container for 3-4 days (if they haven’t been finished already)

I hope you like them!

Strawberry Shortcake

The handicap of clicking half decent food photographs is that you need natural light. Understandably, after stalking numerous blogs, I realised that the only time I can bake and get good quality pictures, is definitely during the day. Which means I can’t cook on weekdays, but this also gives me a schedule for my weekends. I have promised myself a post every weekend.

This week, its strawberry shortcake.

Collage B&C

My sister loves Shortcakes (butterier scones). And since I am constantly trying to suck up to her, this post is for her. I mean she does live across the country from me, and obviously didn’t get to try these which is a shame cause these shortcakes were G.O.O.D.

This recipe isn’t for those people who live in an outrageously hot city like I do. Unless they have a centrally air-conditioned kitchen, which I don’t. So if you’re really committed like I was, your gonna have to constantly dip your hands in ice cold water while making the dough AND chill  it a couple of times to make sure the butter remains cold and basically doesn’t become melted gloop.

Having issued the prerequisite warning, you can find the recipe below.

Oh, did I mention its from ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ by Nigella Lawson? This is the first recipe that I have tried from the book. Nigella more often that not, has her way with eggs, butter, cream and sugar.

Ingredients:

Strawberry Shortcake

  • 325 gms plain four
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 125 gms butter- FROZEN (Amul, why? because its utterly butterly delicious)
  • 1 large egg
  • 125 ml single cream (a small tetrapack works)

The ingredients listed above, are everything you need for the shortcakes. You can really experiment with the fillings. My mother is a strawberries and cream person. I had the leftover shortcakes with lemon curd and lingonberry preserve (my special find in Sweden).

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C; these shortcakes cook really fast.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a large bowl.

Grate the frozen butter into the dry ingredients. I had to constantly dip my hands into ice cold water cause the butter would melt in my fingers while grating. If you are living in sweltering heat like I am, you should pop the bowl with the grated butter in the freezer for a few minutes before you rub it in the flour.

Dough 1.jpg

 

 

Once the bowl is chilled, using your fingertips, start rubbing the butter into the flour mix till they resemble small crumbs.

 

 

IMG_4586

 

Crack the egg in the single cream and whisk well. This is the wet agent you add to the flour to make the dough. Start adding the liquid mix into the flour slowly. You don’t need all of it, so keep an eye out and only add the liquid sparingly until the dough comes together. Use a fork to bring the dough together until you can roll it out with a pin.

 

Once the dough comes together, turn  it onto a floured surface and roll it out to a thickness of about 1-2 cm. Dip a biscuit cutter in the flour and make as many shortcake rounds as possible. You should get 4-5 in the first batch. Rework the dough together, roll it out again, and repeat the process until all of the dough as been used up.

Brush the tops with milk and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Place the shortcakes on a silicon pad and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the tops are lovely and golden.

Allow them to cool slightly. Split them down the middle and eat with sweetened whipped cream and strawberries. Or with any other filling of your choice 🙂

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