Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hazelnut Ginger White Chocolate Dipped Biscotti


There was a nut dilemma involved in making this biscotti. The problem was, I was fixated on pistachios, pistachios, pistachios. The bigger problem was, I was out of them. I get pistachios at Trader Joe's. They make it all seductive and easy by selling bags of raw, already shelled nuts at a reasonable price. 


The day I made these there was a light snow forecast here in NYC. Regardless, I had tons of errands to do. I ran around with the grocery store stop last on my list so I wouldn't have to shlep my bags of food around. I arrived at Trader Joe's, tried to breeze through the door and was stopped by a worker who pointed at a long line of people outside the building and politely told me to get on it. AYFKM? Apparently, there were too many people in the store already. Ugh.


It's was lightly snowing outside but come on,  does everyone have to shift into panic mode every time flakes fall from the sky? Still fixated on those pistachios, first on my grocery list, I grumbled and mumbled and reluctantly moved to the back of the line. As I peered in the window, I saw that the line for the register wound through the entire store and ended right inside the entrance doors. 



I was out of there before you could say "biscotti". As I moved down the block, I had a flash of the excess of hazelnuts I saw that morning in my pantry which I completely ignored because I was so fixated on the pistachios. 

Hazelnut ginger suddenly sounded like the best flavor combo in the world.


I stopped at another market on my way back to my apartment. This place has gorgeous food and decent prices (hello Westside Market). There was plenty of room to shop and I didn't wait behind even one other person to check out. 

However, Trader Joe's, it's popularity and general irrational hysteria over snowfall are responsible for this biscotti and I thank all of them. These are wonderful.


Tip: When I decide to dip biscotti in chocolate, I almost always leave half of them naked. This way, they look nice on the platter and people can decide how decadent they want to be in eating them.



I don't know what poor hazelnut did for me to diss it so over pistachio. I'm sorry hazelnut. I never will again.

Hazelnut Ginger 
White Chocolate Dipped Biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick (4 oz) butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cup crystalized ginger, chopped
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger  and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a mixer beat butter and sugar until combined.
  • Add eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Add flour mixture until throughly combined.
  • Tun mixer on low and add hazelnut and ginger pieces just until evenly mixed in.
  • Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough with your hands on one side (lengthwise) of the baking sheet into a long log about 3 inches wide. Pat the top down to make it flat.
  • Repeat with the other half making sure there is at least 2 inches between the logs.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the logs turn golden brown.
  • Turn oven down to 250 degrees, remove the baking from oven and let stand about 10 minutes. 
  • Slice each log into 1 inch pieces. Lay them on their sides and return to oven.
  • When the biscotti are completely dry (this can take anywhere from 15 -30 minutes depending upon how thick you cut the biscotti), remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.

For the White Chocolate Dipped Version:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chopped
  • A dab of vegetable shortening, if needed
Directions:
  • Place a sheet of baking paper under a wire rack or place the wire rack on the used parchment lined baking sheet
  • Put the white chocolate in a shallow heat proof bowl and melt in microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until chocolate is totally melted. If the chocolate is too thick, add a dab of vegetable shortening and blend. It will thin out the chocolate and make it easier for dipping the biscotti.
  • Dip the bottoms of the biscotti into the melted chocolate and then lay the biscotti on it's side on the wire rack of if the space is big enough stand the biscotti upside down, chocolate dipped side up.
  • When chocolate has hardened, remove from rack, plate and serve.

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