This year is supposed to be a El Niño year, which means a lot of rain is expected. We have been hoping that it rains a lot and gives a relief from the drought situation in California. It has rained but not too much, so when this weekend it poured, everyone was super happy.
Rain always makes us think of Pakodas( fried lentil fritters), a cup of ginger tea. Rain makes everything look so pretty. Spring is in the air, flowers everywhere. The wisteria in our garden is looking gorgeous, vibrant with purple chandeliers.
It was a very relaxing weekend, we had an amazing lunch at our favorite ethiopian place. They make such incredible food, especially their chicken is cooked so well. We ended that meal with a ethiopian coffee, which is always accompanied with a fragrant herb, ‘rue’. You let the herb seep in it’s flavors in the coffee before you drink it.
Talking about coffee, recently my family has been obsessed with coffee. My son has been taking very scientific approach to coffee making. Weighing the coffee beans, freshly ground with handheld steel coffee grinder, water temperature measured by thermometer, even the pour has to be perfect. He looks like Alton Brown every time he makes coffee. He made me a macchiato with a little heart a few weekends ago, so perfectly made.
On my recent trip to Guatemala, I visited this coffee shop which not only serves amazing coffee but also sells beans from the neighbouring areas. I picked a few pounds from there and we also replicated the same set up at home. It made such an amazing cup of coffee.
I love coffee in many forms whether it is coffee ice cream or Tiramisu or even Tiramisu french toast for breakfast, I love it all. So when we were talking about some cookie to go with the coffee, I decided to make this Biscotti. I love making biscotti for many reasons, you can make it ahead of time, you can make so many variations and they are not fragile so they transport well.
Since I love the coffee flavor, I decided to add it to the biscotti as well.
2 3/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 stick of unsalted butter softened
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs at room temperature
1 pinch of salt
3 tsp instant granulated coffee
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup of almonds roughly chopped
5 oz of dark chocolate chips
crushed almonds or sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt together.
Cream the softened butter with sugar.
Add coffee granules and vanilla mix a little more.
Add one egg at a time while the mixer is running.
Scrape down the liquid ingredients.
Add the flour mixture a little at a time. The dough will be sticky at this point. Keep the dough in the fridge so it will firm up and will be easier to handle.
Take the dough out and divide in two parts.
Form two logs of about 2 inch by 8 inch. Remember this will spread as they bake so dont make them wider than 2 inches.
Place the logs on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Bake for 25-30 mins.
Take it out of the oven and cool for 30 mins.
Biscotti means baked twice. So as the name suggests, we will be baking these twice.
Using a sharp serrated knife, cut in 1 inch slices.
Arrange these slices cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake again for 15-20 mins. Remember that these will harden as they cool so be careful to not overcook these.
After baking it the second time, let them cook on a rack.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, heating in the 30 sec intervals, stirring in between.
Dip one end of the cooled biscotti in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with crushed almonds. Layer them back on the parchment paper till the chocolate is solid again.
These store very well in a airtight container.
Serve with your favorite cup of coffee.
You can skip the coffee granules in the batter, and add 1/4 cup of cocoa instead.
You can also make these with no chocolate or cocoa or almonds in the batter, and add 1 tsp of Anise seeds, 1/2 cup of cranberries & 1/2 cup of pistachio instead.