This is an excellent post by David Lebovitz on cocoa. David gives the facts on the difference between Dutch-processed, natural cocoa and black cocoa powder. If you want to learn the facts, read this article.Read More
For my cookbook, I have been researching biscotti recipes. I am not a big baker of biscotti, but this one sounded delicious with chocolate and pistachios.
Double Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti
Makes 2 dozen
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole shelled pistachio nuts or blanched almonds, lightly toasted
Heat oven to 350F.
Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler set over, but not touching, simmering water. Stir until smooth.
Sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt.
In electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs on medium speed until lightened. Add vanilla. On low speed, add chocolate mixture, then flour mixture. Stir in nuts. Dough will be soft.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Form two 9-inch-long-by-3 1/2-inch-wide logs on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake until dough sets, 30 minutes. Cool 15 minutes.
Reduce oven to 275 degrees.
Cut dough on diagonal into 1/2-inch slices; place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Turn over; bake 20 minutes, until slightly dry. Let cool on wire rack.
Store in airtight container.Read More
These cookies literally contain tea leaves, which are ground fine with the flour. They give the cookies a rich yet delicate flavor. These are on my top-ten list for Spring baking.
Earl Grey Tea Cookies
makes about 2 dozen
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Pulse together all the dry ingredients in a food processor until the tea leaves are pulverized.
Add vanilla, water, and butter. Pulse together until a dough is formed. Form the dough into a log onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Wrap the paper around and roll the log smooth. Freeze now, or chill for at least 30 minutes.
When chilled, slice the log into 1/3 inch thick pieces. Place on baking sheets and bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.Read More
As I sit in my study, watching the snow fall on the already 12-inches that have accumulated, I naturally start to think about what to bake. “Comfort” foods would be good on a cold, icy day like today. So I googled “comfort cookies.” And low and behold, there are a few that claim to be “comfort cookies.” This chocolate version seemed most appealing to my senses.
Chocolate Comfort Cookies
Makes 4 dozen
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 cup marshmallow cream
1 cup toasted hazelnuts or pecans, chopped
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 325F.
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg, beating well. Add melted chocolate, milk, and vanilla; beat well.
Sift together flour and baking soda, salt and cocoa; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in marshmallow cream and remaining ingredients, mixing well.
Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire racks and cool completely.Read More
My favorite chocolate chip cookies are made with bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cocoa) and dried sour cherries. This combination is sophisticated and not the least bit sweet. As one of my friends said, “complex.” They are perfect for Valentine’s Day. Here is the recipe.
Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Dried Cherries
Makes about 3-31/2 dozen
1 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups dried tart cherries, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt; set aside.
Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Reduce sped to low and mix in flour mixture, a little at a time, until just incorporated. Mix in cherries and chocolate pieces on low.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet, spaced at least two inches apart. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.Read More