Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Triple Chocolate Biscotti for 2013 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap #fbcookieswap



I've said it before, and I'll say it again: December is the home bakers' Olympics. You prepare and strategize and plan and test, for what amounts to probably 3-4 (giant) batches of cookies. Don't get me wrong: it's a freakin' blast. But the laser focus on food, particularly sweets, can act as a particularly festive set of blinders, making you forget what this time of year is really about. For me, it's about taking some time to assess what I have and express thanks in some way for it. Gifting baked goods is, of course, part of that, because there's nothing that expresses gratitude and appreciation better than something you made with your own two hands. But I think it's also important, in this time of receiving, to also engage in some serious giving, to those in particular need. Which brings me to The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2013.

The premise is simple: you sign up, and are matched with three fellow bloggers, to each of whom you send 1 dozen cookies. We each paid a small fee to participate, and all of the participation fees were matched by four generous sponsors (Oxo, Dixie Crystals, Gold Medal Flour, and Grandma's Molasses), and all of that money was donated to the wonderful Cookies for Kids Cancer, an organization that raises funds for pediatric cancer research. It's so simple: we get to share cookies, and CfKC hopefully gets even the tiniest step closer to making pediatric cancer a thing of the past. In my book, that's so much better than a bunch more crap you don't need under the tree (don't get me wrong, I love a good present!).

In case you are are curious, I had the pleasure of sampling Meseidy's Chewy Chocolate Gingersnaps with Rum Glaze, Jessica's Red Velvet Blossoms and Megan's Chamomile Lemon Shortbread. Oxo also surprised all of the cookie swappers with this set of their silicone spatulas, which - no exaggeration - are probably the best I've ever worked with. They really went above and beyond for us. (Thank you, Oxo, if anyone is reading this!!)


As for me, I thought for probably a solid 30 seconds about what to make, but you know I went straight for chocolate biscotti - a combination of two of my favorite things. Chocolate is obvious, but three types of chocolate is better. I like adding a little something extra to holiday cookies to make them feel a little bit richer and more decadent than the cookies I make the rest of the year. These ingredients can be as simple as molasses and spices, or silky toasted hazelnuts. Or it can be an unexpected form that you often get a homemade version of, like biscotti!

I hope you guys aren't sick of biscotti yet, which I probably make more of as a proportion of my total posts than any other blogger out there. Well, maybe. Biscotti is so versatile, and as I've said before, it feels super fancy and makes for a great gift. As a bonus, especially in the instance of cross-country-cookie-swapping (or just holiday cookie sending), it is sturdy enough to hold up to whatever calisthenics the US Postal Service decides to use it for. I always have a vision of the package getting pretty abused in transit - probably because I am brainwashed by this.

So: kinda fancy + durable + oh, did I mention three types of chocolate?? = the best stinkin' cookie swap cookie ever.


I don't know if I need to convince you how delicious a triple chocolate biscotti can be. But just to be sure, picture a crisp, deep-cocoa-flavored cookie, studded with smooth semi-sweet chocolate and offset by a sweet, silky white chocolate stripe in every bite. There's also a little crunch from the sprinkles, which I would highly recommend not skimping on!


Even if you're not participating in a cookie swap, or even shipping cookies to friends and family, these cookies are a huge crowd-pleaser. I made a version of them awhile ago for my office, and a fistfight almost broke out over the last one (ok that's a slight exaggeration, only because we are an office that believes in some degree of professional decorum...but there were definitely some wild eyes and chop-licking). But, that's not surprising; three types of chocolate in one crispy, dunkable, festive cookie is pretty much guaranteed to make you lose your cool in the best way possible.



Triple Chocolate Biscotti
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup white chocolate
Festive sprinkles, for decorating

Preheat the oven to 375F. Coat a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray or a nonstick pad and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Stop the mixer and add all of the dry ingredients at once. Mix until just combined, and no more. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips and mix until the chips are evenly distributed.

Form the dough into three logs on the prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow the logs to cool for about 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cutting board. Using a non-serrated knife, cut the logs into slices on the bias and lay them in one layer on the cookie sheet. Bake for another 12-13 minutes until crisp around the edges. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes on the cookie sheet. They will crisp up as they cool. 

Transfer to a rack to cool completely. 

Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 15-second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Use a spoon or pastry bag to drizzle the white chocolate decoratively over the biscotti and follow immediately with a generous sprinkle of, well, sprinkles! Allow the chocolate to cool and solidify before serving. 

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes 48 cookies.



**
If you like this recipe, you might also like...

Double Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cookies


Nutella Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Buttercreamfanatic.com


Maple Walnut Cranberry Biscotti from www.buttercreamfanatic.com




(Gluten-Free, No Bake)


Looking for more holiday baking options? Look no further! 
Just scroll back up to the top and click on the "recipes for the holidays" link.




Don't forget to follow Buttercream Fanatic for more


13 comments:

  1. Yum! I've never made biscotti but I do enjoy eating it. Triple chocolate? These look divine!

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  2. Cate @ Chez CateyLouDecember 11, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I need to get involved in this cookie swap next year - it sounds like so much fun! your biscotti are just gorgeous - I love how you dressed them up with Christmas sprinkles! So festive!

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  3. You should try them, Colleen! They're so easy!

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  4. It's a lot of fun, Cate! Very well organized, and everyone is so talented and creative so the cookies you get are really delicious. And it gives you an excuse to use lots of sprinkles!

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  5. Zainab @ Blahnik BakerDecember 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Oh I wish I was one of your recipients!! Seriously!! These look too good my friend. Triple chocolate?? Biscotti? Love everything about them!! The holidays are the best.

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  6. Beautiful packaging and so colorful!

    I made Soft-Baked Gingersnap Molasses Cookies, 3 Ways for my Cookie Swap recipe. First timer, but I can’t wait to do it again next year. Happy baking!

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  7. Weren't those OXO spatulas the bombdotcom?! I AM OBSESSED. Also, these cookies are awesome. Triple chocolate is my calling.

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  8. Darn, we should've done a secret trade :) Happy holidays!!

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  9. Thanks, Harvey! I saw your cookies on your site - what a great thought to send a variation on a theme! It was my first time too and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Stay warm today (I know you're a Chicagoan too)!

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  10. Yes, they were fantastic! The small one in particular has come in handy more than once since I got them. Not least of all to make sure not a big of chocolate went to waste in making these cookies :)

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  11. I love everything about this from the biscotti to that super cute packaging to triple chocolate (yes please!).

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  12. Yes! you probably did have to be compelled to sign for the package! I nearly incomprehensible that box as a result of the mail guy did not walk to our actual apt door- simply left a note voice communication he was there- at our community mail area. quite weird. Sorry you guys did not get it!So glad you liked the packaging!
    Wedding Chocolate

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