Wednesday, December 16, 2015

At Home: Vanilla Chocolate Chip Almond Biscotti

For this year's 5th Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, I decided to make Vanilla Chocolate Chip Almond Biscotti as a gift from What Micky Eats...At Home Biscotti is Italian for "twice baked" and is a favorite snack of both my Aunt Debbie and my Mother-in-Law, Bernice.  These cookies are great with coffee and tea in the morning, or as an after dinner dessert, and I had plenty left over to keep for myself as snacks for work.  The recipe makes a large batch, so it was perfect for a holiday cookie exchange such as this one!

I participated in this cookie swap last year and the year before and knew I wanted to sign up again this year.  The basic idea is to send out 1 dozen cookies to 3 food bloggers that you've been matched up with, and then you get to receive 3 different types of cookies from 3 different people that have been assigned to you. But the best part about this year's swap is that both Lindsay and Julie organized all this to support Cookies for Kids' Cancer. So with a cookie swap registration fee of $4, every dollar goes directly to this charity - raising over $7000 this year, bringing the total to date to $35,000. How awesome is that?

Vanilla Chocolate Chip Almond Biscotti (Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker & Capital Cooking)
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teasp vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teasp baking powder
  • ½ teasp salt
  • ½ teasp almond extract
  • ¾ cup almond slivers
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Cream the sugar and butter together until fluffy, add the eggs one at a time along, and then add the vanilla and almond extract.
- Scrape your bowl if needed to make sure everything is smoothly mixed and incorporated.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and almonds together in a separate bowl.
- Add dry mix gradually to the creamed mixture and combine just until a dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and rub your hands with a little flour.

- Divide the dough in two and form each half into a log about 4 inches wide by 10 inches long.
- Bake on parchment lined baking sheets until lightly browned and small cracks form on top, about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool slightly on the baking sheets.
- Transfer the logs to a cutting board. Slice on the diagonal in generous ½ inch slices – this is easiest by using a straight down chopping motion with a good chef's knife.

- Place them with the cut side up on parchment lined baking trays and bake another 20 minutes or until slightly browned, turning over half way through the baking.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.

The extra addition of almond extract really pumped up the almond flavor in these biscotti.  You can jazz it up with other ingredients such as dried cranberries, coconut flakes, or drizzle with some melted chocolate.  Makes a great holiday gift!

The recipe above makes exactly 3 dozen.  The mixture will be very buttery and easy to roll into logs.  The almond scent is not too strong, and balances with the chocolate chips.

I packed them up for my cookie swap matches and mailed one dozen to each food blogger the next day.  I hope they arrived intact and that my matches enjoyed them.

In return, I received Honey Lavender Shortbread Cookies from The Baker UpstairsChristmas Swirl Sugar Cookies from Fresh From Oregon, and Iced Gingerbread Cookie Bites from Whole and Heavenly Oven.

The cookies were all delicious and I was happy to participate in this year's Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  Check out all the other cookies on Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram with hashtag #fbcookieswap.

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