Is this a good time to discuss Tom Colicchio?
Doesn’t he totally terrify you? Gordon Ramsay just makes me laugh–come on now. But Tom is one dignified, even-keeled SCARY DUDE COOK.
I got the Craft of Cooking for Christmas one year from my boss. It was a deal where he called us all up one by one at the Christmas party and had us choose our own gift, which was awkward but obviously ensured that things like this could happen. That book was exactly what I needed in my life and I use it still, having tried only a few recipes from it. Each one was simple, but flavorful in a way I never thought simple food could be. Simple, of course, doesn’t mean easy, and the effort was always worth it. The roasted beet salad, creamless “creamed” corn, steamed lemon pudding… All worthwhile and really special recipes.
I came here to talk about the biscotti in particular. It’s rich in a sophisticated way–there’s cocoa, of course, plus toasty hazelnuts, complex dark brown sugar and rich espresso.
Toast and brew. Tom wants you to!
The dough is delicious. Maybe that’s why I ended up with only about 15 biscotti instead of 30, as the recipe promised? Some questions are better left unanswered.
It gets messy… All things that are worth it are messy.
The dough is thick and sticky, but these don’t have to be perfect. As long as one side is longer than the other, I think we’re okay.
Bake for a little while. Slice and bake again, for a bigger while.
Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
(recipe from Craft of Cooking)
1 ½ cups hazelnuts, chopped
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon strongly brewed espresso
The quantities are wonky, I know. It’s been scaled down from restaurant proportions because Tom doesn’t know what a fat kid I am.
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in an even layer for about 15 minutes, or until slightly browned and smelling delicious. Check them often.
Mix together flour, cocoa, both sugars, baking soda and salt. Add butter, eggs, vanilla and espresso, followed by the hazelnuts. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and form two oval logs with the dough onto the sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes. Cool slightly on a cooling rack while you reduce the over temperature to 200 degrees. Cut each log into biscotti (7-8 per log) and bake the biscotti on a baking sheet for about 2 hours (they should be dry). Cool and serve (or store).