I have quite a backlog of recipes to post at the moment, but I have decided to move the holiday goodies to the front of the line in case you feel the urge to do some last minute baking for your friends and family.  I’m sure they would appreciate it!  Baking up treats for my holiday packages is something I really enjoy.  Last year was the first time I did the packages on a large(ish) scale, and I did 8.  This year I  increased that to 18 packages!  It was somewhat exhausting but totally worth it to see how much everyone enjoyed them.

Biscotti is something I have had on my list of things to try for a LONG time, but I kept putting it off.  I’m not exactly sure of the reason, but I think there were a couple.  1, they seemed challenging – don’t ask why because I don’t know, but I was intimidated.  2, the only time I have ever eaten a biscotti cookie, I hated it.  I couldn’t comprehend why someone would choose to eat such a tough and crunchy treat instead of something softer and more delicate.  Well, it turns out that these are unbelievably easy to make – so easy that I am embarrassed to have been intimidated for so long.  And, they are delicious!  I may or may not have eaten broken biscotti pieces for my lunch the day I made these….  They are perfect for holiday packages, especially if they are being shipped, because they are very sturdy and keep well.

As a side note, you may have noticed some major changes in the appearance of my blog!  It was time for an overhaul, and for the most part I am happy with the results.  Unfortunately the new theme I have chosen does not agree with the recipe format I had been using, so I will be changing that from this point on, and please excuse the appearance of the older recipes.  Hopefully you all enjoy the new look!

Chocolate Biscotti
Yield: (depends on how you cut them – I had about 18 per batch)

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus some extra for dusting
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped or chips, for dipping

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes; the mixture may be crumbly.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and the vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes; don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing only until a dough forms.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Mix in the white chocolate chips and chopped bittersweet chocolate.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead in any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface.  Dust your hands with some flour – the dough may be very sticky.  Divide the dough in half.  Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into 10-inch logs.  Transfer logs onto the baking sheet.  Flatten both logs so that they are 1/2 to 1 inch high and at least 4 inches apart.

Bake the logs for at least 25 minutes, or until are just slightly firm.  The logs will spread and crack during baking.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven, place on a wire rack and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.  Working with one log at a time, cut each log into slices 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.  Stand the slices up on the baking sheet.  Bake the cookies again, this time for 10 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool.

Melt white chocolate in a double boiler.  Dip the cooled biscotti into the white chocolate and set to cool on a silicone mat or some wax paper.

Source: adapted from Smells Like Home, originally from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan