Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Make These Chocolate Rosemary Biscotti for a Snack or a Gift

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Make These Chocolate Rosemary Biscotti for a Snack or a Gift

Article excerpt

I remember the first party I ever hosted. I was 5 and my mom invited all of my kindergarten girlfriends and their moms for a holiday singing gathering. We knoshed on homemade cookies dunked in hot cocoa made from packets of powder dissolved in boiling water. Standing there around our piano, surrounded by tiny off-key singers with crumby, smiling mouths and steamy chocolate breath, I fell in love with hospitality. I felt in my heart the joy of feeding people, especially around the holidays. Joy to the world, indeed.

As the days grow colder and shorter, and cookie-baking season is ushered in, the calorie-counter in me steps aside just enough to strike that balance of reasonable, but small, indulgence. A perfect example of smart cookie indulgence is the biscotti.

Biscotti are firm, dry Italian cookies that are typically served alongside an espresso or coffee for dunking. Biscotti are drier and harder than your average cookie, due to a double-baking process (which is easy, so don't be intimidated) and relatively lower amounts of fat and sugar.

But the harder texture has a huge tactical advantage: biscotti take longer to nibble your way through, so the chances of my accidentally downing seven or eight are pretty small. One or two of these little guys, especially with an espresso, and I feel like I've participated in the joy of holiday dessert.

Plus, biscotti feel a little fancy. Fancy enough, in fact, to double as a holiday gift wrap some up in cellophane and take as a hostess or neighbor gift, or even send home with your guests as a little party favor.

Today's recipe is flavored with dark chocolate and rosemary because they are classic winter flavors that I love together, but feel free to play with zests, spices, herbs and chocolate types to make a combo you love. Bonus points if you eat them with friends singing around the piano.

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DARK CHOCOLATE ROSEMARY BISCOTTI

Yield: 16 biscotti

1 cup white whole wheat flour

cup all-purpose flour

teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely minced

cup dark chocolate chips, finely chopped

cup sliced almonds, toasted

1. …

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