Baking Therapy

I find baking therapeutic and comforting, and so yesterday I decided that baking cookies would be good medicine.  That nasty cold that’s had me down for 10 days, morphed into a sinus infection and sent me to my doctor’s office on Monday morning.  With two days of antibiotics under my belt, I am happy to report I’m starting to feel the energy running more smoothly through my meridians once again.

I decided on biscotti because it had been quite some time since I made them and they have less butter than the other cookies in my repertoire, so therefore a wee bit healthier.  Since I’m not a believer in greatly reducing the fat in cookies and other desserts, this is a great alternative.  I believe in eating less and really savouring the food I’m eating, rather than putting something in my body  that doesn’t taste delicious.

 So if you’re in the need of  baking therapy, and have a craving for chocolate, this recipe may be just the thing!

Double Chocolate Expresso Pecan Biscotti

2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons instant expresso powder
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined well.  Add vanilla and expresso powder, beat until combined.  Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough.  Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.

On prepared baking sheets with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.  Bake logs 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch.  Cool biscotti on baking sheet for 5 minutes.

On a cutting board cut each log diagonally into 3/4-inch slices and arrange, cut side down, on two baking sheets and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes,  Remove from oven and cool on rack.

Before baking

After first baking

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the cut cookies before the second baking.  If you have one of those wide fish turners for the grill it’s an excellent tool for removing logs to the cutting board.  If not, I find that two turners, one on each end, work fine.  Make sure your knife is sharp to make a clean cut or you end up with broken-off pieces.  A trick I learned from my friend Steph, is to turn the oven off after the second baking and leave the cookies in for another 15 minutes or so, to insure a crisp cookie without over-baking.

As you probably know, biscotti keep well in an airtight container, however, I like to keep only a few days worth in the pantry, freezing the rest, taking them out as needed.  This ensures that marvelous crunch and burst of flavor when biting into each and every one.

Bon Appetite!

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4 Responses to Baking Therapy

  1. rnrmaine says:

    YUMMY!! Get well soon!!

  2. So right about baking being good therapy! I love your advice about eating less and really savoring the food. Also, the lighter fat load in biscotti make me feel way better about eating them. this is my next baking venture…thanks for the inspiration. Wish I could just stop by for a Suellie cappuccino and a chocolate biscotti!!!

  3. suellen1234 says:

    What is it about baking that feeds the soul? Cooking does it for me as well, but there is something about baking that’s different?? I still haven’t tried my hand at bread although I keep thinking about it….as I remember I loved the kneading. Maybe I’ll start with a focaccia as it’s a little less time consuming but I still get to knead.

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