Karen DeMasco’s Chocolate Walnut Biscotti and Oatmeal Raisin Biscotti

I hadn’t made anything from Karen DeMasco’s book The Craft of Baking since my one attempt at her apple cider muffins.  Giving the book another go, I made the chocolate walnut biscotti (scroll down for the recipe) and the oatmeal raisin biscotti.

Well, I had issues handling the super wet dough for the chocolate walnut biscotti, but the taste is stupendous. Really the most intensely chocolate biscotti I have ever had. And these are low fat, too.Part of the secret to the intense taste is using homemade coffee extract: 4 Tbl. of hot water mixed into a 2 ounce jar of espresso makes a large batch of coffee extract that keeps for about a half a year. The recipe only needs 2 teaspoons of this extract. I made just a quarter of the whole coffee extract recipe, and still had lots of extract left over. I weighed out half an ounce of decaf instant coffee and added a Tbl. of hot water to make the smaller batch of extract.

Changes I made: 2 Tbl. of oil instead of butter, and more chocolate chips (about half a bag of chips or about 5 ounces). The recipe calls for shaping the batter into loaves and then transferring them to a parchment lined baking sheet. I shaped the dough right on the parchment lined baking sheet (sprinkled with flour), using a dough scraper and wet hands. The dough spread a lot during baking, but the biscotti still came out nicely.

Next time, I would try using more flour for dusting the outside of the loaves (like Piece of Cake and Gourmeted did). But I still don’t get the point of transferring them after shaping. I’m guess I’m just being stubbornly lazy about this. . . .

Another possibility is baking a wet dough like this in a parchment lined loaf pan, like the pullman loaf pan that I use for my Almondina-style biscotti thins.

Here is what the cookies look like  made with pecans and dipped in chocolate.

The oatmeal raisin biscotti made a much drier, easier to handle dough. Changes I made: as DeMasco suggested, I used 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar instead of the 3/4 cup maple sugar called for in the recipe. I swapped out the 1/4 cup of molasses with the same amount of maple syrup in hopes of getting the maple flavor back in the recipe.

I had trouble slicing the loaves. Lots of crumbling. Maybe I should have chilled the loaves before slicing?

The flavor of these is quite nice, and a little different. A very creative take on biscotti, and a nice breakfast treat. I would add chocolate chips next time, though.

Ingredient list:

3/4 cup toasted and roughly chopped pecans, 1/2 cup of oatmeal ground into a powder, 1/2 cup of oatmeal (not ground up),  1 3/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup maple sugar or dark brown sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup molasses (I used maple syrup), 2 Tbl. oil, 3/4 tsp. vanilla, 3/4 cup golden raisins (you can also use dried apricots and almonds or pistachios and blueberries, or walnuts and dried cherries).

Mix together all the dry ingredients except the pecans and raisins. Mix together the wet ingredients and then add them to the dry ingredients (again, being lazy, I just added the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients).  Mix. Add the nuts and raisins (actually, DeMasco calls for adding the vanilla at this stage, which I don’t understand since it makes more sense to me to combine it with the rest of the wet ingredients). Shape two logs about 16″x2″ (again, being lazy, I shaped the dough right on the parchment lined baking sheet). Bake at 350 degrees for a half hour. Cool, slice, re-bake at 250 degrees to dry out the slices (I just left the slices in the turned off oven).

 

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