Tuesday, I had to drive across town in the middle of our most recent snow storm. The only good thing about it was stopping at Hilliard's on the way home. Hilliard's is a local chocolate (and incredible candy) store in Easton, MA. They have the best hot chocolate mix and homemade marshmallows. Nothing better when you are in the midst of the 5th snowstorm of the season and more snow to add to the four feet we have already! UGH.
Now that I had the hot chocolate, I needed something to dunk in it. Looking at recipes for chocolate toffee cookies, I realized I didn't need anymore chocolate, I needed something to compliment chocolate. Thumbing through another one of my Christmas gifts, Bon Appetit Desserts: All Things Sweet and Wonderful, I came across quite a few biscotti recipes. I wanted something nutty, but not too sweet. Hazelnut-Cinnamon Biscotti seemed the best choice.
I know I always speak about ease of a recipe and this one was easy! I mixed the entire recipe in my food processor. Outside of having to toast the hazelnuts, I had these blended and in the oven in five minutes. One thing I did was to add some cinnamon sugar to the top of the biscotti. If you saw the picture Bon Appetit displayed it looked like there was a sugary topping.
The biscotti were a perfect match for the hot chocolate. Buttery and nutty with wonderful hints of orange rind and cinnamon. We enjoyed hot chocolate and biscotti at 8:30 PM that night with Jeff's parents. As they are house bound it was nice to hold the warmed mug and dip biscotti as the snow was falling and changing to frozen ice.
As Valentine's day is nearing, why not make some delicious hot chocolate and add a few biscotti. A great gift that will warm any heart! Enjoy!
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of hazelnuts, toasted, husked (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon of grated orange peel
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 large eggs
(Topping: 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to 3 teaspoons of sugar)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray large baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl; set aside.
Coarsely chop hazelnuts in processor. Transfer to small bowl.
Combine sugar and butter in processor; blend until fluffy.
Add orange peel and vanilla extract and blend well.
Add eggs 1 at a time, blending just until incorporated after each addition.
Add flour mixture; mix using on/off turns until just blended.
Mix in hazelnuts using on/off turns until just blended.
Turn dough out onto floured work surface.
Divide dough in half. Roll each half into 9-inch-long, 2-inch-wide log.
Space logs 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Flatten each to 12-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. (Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.)
Bake until very light golden and firm to touch, about 25 minutes.
Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
Using metal spatula, transfer logs to work surface.
Using serrated knife, cut logs diagonally into 3/4-inch-wide slices.
Place slices, cut side down, on large baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes.
Turn biscotti over; bake until light golden and firm, about 15 minutes longer.
Transfer biscotti to racks and cool. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)