Friday, November 16, 2007

Green Tea and Ginger Biscotti

One of my great weaknesses is coffee and everything that goes with it. It's not so much the caffeine that I'm addicted to, but rather the taste and the wonderful, comforting routine of brewing a warm cup of coffee and drinking a warm cup of coffee, no matter what the season. I also love how coffee goes so well with certain sweets such as dark chocolate, shortbread cookies, or, my personal favorite, biscotti. The only thing is, they're so expensive at the store and at coffee shops! They're nothing less complicated than cookies baked twice, and they're supposed to come out a little hard so they soften up when you dip them. We tried this funky green tea biscotti recipe and added some chunks of candied ginger for a little bite.


Recipe (adapted from Leite's Culinaria)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons of matcha (green-tea powder)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
(1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup of slivered, blanched almonds
1/2 cup finely diced candied ginger

To decorate the biscotti:

1/2 cup of melted dark chocolate

1/2 cup of butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In one bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, matcha, and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture to the bowl. Eventually, the dough will get too thick for a hand mixer and so switch to working the remaining flour in with your hands. It should make a nice, firm, dough. Stir in almonds and chopped ginger.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 5 or 6 times. Divide into two equal portions. With floured hands, roll each portion into a log approximately 7 inches long, flattening the top slightly. Transfer the logs to a baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and firm to the touch, 25 minutes. Remove the logs from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle.

Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F (135°C). Transfer the cooled logs to a cutting board and slice them on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices using a serrated knife. Lay the cookies cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake again until the biscotti are lightly toasted, about 15 to 20 minutes. Using tongs, turn the cookies over and bake until slightly dry, about 15 to 20 more minutes. Cool the biscotti on wire rack.

Melt the chocolate and the butter and place the mixture in a glass. Dip each biscotti in the chocolate, shaking off the excess. Place on a cooling rack and spinkle with ginger pieces while the chocolate is still warm so the ginger sticks to the biscotti. Leave to set and enjoy.

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