Biscotti for the brain

I don’t know if I invited my friends over this morning to study or to eat brunch. Does it really matter?

Last week I got my hands on David Lebovitz’s latest book, Ready for Dessert, at the library and decided to try his Almond and Chocolate Chunk Biscotti. The recipe read well and was easy to prepare. (I always get nervous about forming the logs but his remedy for that is to dampen your hands first to prevent sticking- genius!) Biscotti appeal to me because they will satisfy a sugar craving yet aren’t too sweet that I feel guilty about eating more than one in one sitting.  Just ask my study-mates…

Ingredients

2.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
7 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks (or 1.5 cups chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder. In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium until the mixture thickens and holds its shape, about 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then mix in the almonds and chocolate.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half. Using dampened hands (again, crucial step!), shape each half into a log 3 inches in diameter. Set the logs lengthwise on the prepared baking sheet, evenly spacing them apart. Dampen your hands and smooth the surface of the logs.

Bake, rotating the sheet midway through baking, until the logs are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. (They will flatten out while baking.) Remove the baking sheet from the oven and decrease the oven temperature to 300F. Let the logs cool on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.

After the first go in the oven

After the first go in the oven

Transfer the logs to a cutting board. With a serrated bread knife, cut each log diagonally into slices 1/2 inch thick. Place the cookies, cut sides up, in a single layer on the baking sheet. If necessary, use 2 sheets. Bake until the biscotti are firm, about 20 minutes, flipping them midway through baking. Let cool completely; they’ll continue to firm up as they cool.

The final product

The final product

Storage: The biscotti will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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