dark chocolate biscotti

Dark chocolate biscotti

These last few days of the year are ones I look forward to most; when we can unplug from our usual routine and just focus on relaxing with family. To me that means lots of cooking, feasting, wine-drinking and wood fires in the fireplace. But it can be hard not to get caught up in all that holiday scurrying – shopping, wrapping, decorating…I find myself wondering Am I done yet?

I managed to accomplish some holiday baking this year, and somehow it turned out there wasn’t enough chocolate in the assortment. These biscotti seemed like the missing link. It helps that biscotti are the perfect cookie for packing up in bags for last minute gifts because they’re not fragile or fussy.

The biscotti recipes I like best use butter. Some traditional biscotti are made without it, but I think they can be tooth-breaking hard. The ones here have a nice ratio of crunch, chew and deep chocolate flavor.

I chopped some extra chunks of chocolate to melt and drizzle over the biscotti, and I sprinkled a little flaky sea salt over some of them, too.

Dark chocolate biscotti

Dark chocolate biscotti

Yield: about 30 biscotti

Keep the biscotti in a covered container for up to a week.

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups all purpose flour
  2. ½ cup cocoa powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. ¾ cup dark chocolate baking chunks or chips

Instructions

  1. Arrange baking racks to the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. Beat the butter in an electric mixer until fluffy; add the sugar and mix at high speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl if needed, then beat in the eggs. Lower the mixer speed to stir in the flour mixture and mix until just combined; stir in the chocolate chunks.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half on a lightly floured counter into a log about 12 inches long and 3 inches wide. Arrange the logs on the baking sheet about 3 inches apart.
  6. Bake 30 - 40 minutes, until the logs are firm to the touch. Cool on a rack 10 minutes.
  7. With a large, sharp knife, slice each log into ¾-inch wide slices on a slight diagonal and put them cut side down on the baking sheet.
  8. Lower oven to 325 degrees. Bake 5 minutes, then gently turn the biscotti unto the other cut side and bake for another 5 minutes.
  9. The biscotti are great plain or dip them into some chopped, melted chocolate if you like.

Notes

Based on a recipe from Gourmet magazine

http://familystylefood.com/2012/12/dark-chocolate-biscotti/

Cranberry Cocoa Cream Tart

Cranberry Cocoa Cream Tart

Here’s my take on a little-black-dress dessert, one you can pull off throughout the holiday season from now to Valentine’s day.

The crust is a basic chocolate wafer crumble pressed into a tart pan, and the filling is cocoa-flavored mascarpone topped with glistening cranberries. It manages to be glamorous, festive, and simple all at the same time.

Cranberry Cocoa Cream Tart

Cranberry Cocoa Cream Tart

Yield: 1 9-inch tart

Ingredients

  1. 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  2. 1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  3. ¾ cup sugar
  4. 30 chocolate wafer cookies
  5. 6 tablespoons melted butter
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt
  7. ¼ cup sugar
  8. 1 pound mascarpone cheese
  9. 1 cup powdered sugar
  10. 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  11. 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Instructions

  1. For the topping: Sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup water in a small bowl and let soften 10 minutes. Put the cranberries in a saucepan with the sugar and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil; stir to dissolve sugar. Lower heat to a simmer and cook an additional 5 minutes or so; you want to soften the cranberries but retain their plump shape.
  2. Drain the cranberries over a bowl. Add the gelatin to the juice in the bowl, stirring to dissolve. Add the cranberries to the juice, stirring gently. Cover and chill until the mixture thickens, about 8 hours or overnight.
  3. For the crust: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pulse the cookies, sugar and salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is moistened and holds together when you pinch it. Press the crumbs on to the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake the crust 10 -12 minutes; cool completely on a rack.
  4. For the filling: Beat the mascarpone, sugar, cocoa and cream together just until spreadable. Spread the filling over the cooled crust and top with the cranberries. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
http://familystylefood.com/2012/11/cranberry-cocoa-cream-tart/

Chocolate Pumpkin Pound Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Pound Cake with Chocolate Glaze recipe

I’ve pulled this recipe out of my favorites file – a moist, spiced pumpkin pound cake swirled with chocolate and glazed with a shiny-gorgeous chocolate sauce. I shared it over at the Go Bold with Butter blog recently too.

While I haven’t been able to turn the heat on in the house yet – still in denial that fall is here, I guess – my taste for the season is certainly in full swing. And there are lots of delicious things to come…think I’ll go find a big sweater and stock up on firewood.

I really love this time of year.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pound Cake

Yield: 10 -12

Ingredients

  1. 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  5. ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  6. ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  7. 3 sticks butter (1 ½ cups), softened
  8. 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  9. 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  10. 6 eggs, room temperature
  11. 1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
  12. 2/3 cup plain yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-cup Bundt cake pan and lightly dust with flour.
  2. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until combined. Remove 1 ¾ cups of this mixture to a second bowl and stir in the pumpkin pie spice and ginger. Stir the cocoa into the remaining flour in the first bowl.
  3. Beat the butter in a stand mixer until creamy. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape out ½ the batter into another bowl and set it aside.
  4. To make the pumpkin batter, add the pumpkin to the batter in the mixing bowl and beat briefly on slow speed to blend. (FYI, the batter might appear curdled at this point, but that’s fine – it will come together when you add the flour). Stir in the spiced flour mixture until just blended.
  5. To make the chocolate batter, stir the reserved butter mixture into the cocoa mixture, alternating with the yogurt, until just blended.
  6. Spoon half the pumpkin batter into the pan; drop half the chocolate batter by spoonfuls over the pumpkin batter, without covering it completely; repeat with the remaining pumpkin and chocolate batters. Put a small, thin knife into the batter and circle it around the pan a few times, then draw the knife back and forth across the width of the pan to swirl the batters together.
  7. Bake about 1 hour, or until a tester emerges with a few moist crumbs. Cool the cake in the pan 15 minutes before inverting onto a rack to cool completely.
  8. When the cake is cool, make chocolate glaze: Put 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate, ½ cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon corn syrup and a pinch of fine salt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (but not touching) until melted, stirring until smooth. Pour the glaze over the cake, letting some drip over the sides. Let stand until the glaze sets before serving, about 2 hours, or chill for 30 minutes if you’re in a hurry.
  9. Recipe adapted from Sunset
http://familystylefood.com/2012/10/chocolate-pumpkin-pound-cake-2/