Happy New Year! Chocolate, Candied Ginger and Grapefruit Biscotti!

What a year it has been. It started with the launch of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. A project that I knew was a great concept, but had no idea that so many people would embrace it. Thank you all for the fabulous support and wonderful emails, pictures and thought provoking questions you’ve sent! Due to those inquiries and suggestions Jeff and I have embarked on our second book. This time we are focusing on breads made with whole grains and really healthy ingredients, that are still fast, easy and tasty! Even some gluten free breads. The book is due at the publisher in TWO days and we are working like crazy to get it in on time. It should be available next fall.

Of course, I need something to nibble on as I work on the book so I made my favorite biscotti. This is the one cookie that I can not keep my hands off of. I force myself to give some of them away so that I don’t eat the entire batch all by myself! 😉

In the past year I created Zoe Bakes as a way to fulfill my need to make pastries in a life that has been consumed with baking bread. Don’t get me wrong, I adore bread, but a pastry chef needs her sweets! This is where I play and dream. I’ve gotten so many of my ideas from reading your comments and visiting other bakers’ wonderful websites. The web has become my playground, a place to share ideas and gain inspiration. A true blessing and an absolute thrill.

Happy New Year to you all! Cheers!

Chocolate, Candied Ginger and Grapefruit Biscotti:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa ( I used a really dark natural, but Dutch processed is wonderful as well)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

2 teaspoon pure vanilla

3/4 cup finely chopped high quality bittersweet chocolate

2/3 cups whole raw almonds

1/2 cup crystallized ginger

1/3 cup candied grapefruit (other candied or dried fruit will work as well)

Preheat oven to 350° and line a cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of your mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix in the eggs, one at a time on low speed. Add the chocolate, nuts, ginger and candied grapefruit. Mix until everything is well distributed. The dough will be very sticky.

Scoop the dough out with a Bowl Scraper or Rubber Spatula onto the silpat or parchment.

Divide the dough in half. Using wet hands form the two halves into logs. You want the logs to be as even as possible from one end to the other.

Bake for 30+ minutes or until the logs are firm to the touch. Allow them to cool for about 25 minutes. If the logs are still too warm they will fall apart when you try to slice them.

Slice the logs into 1/2 thick slices with a serrated Knife.

Line them up on the silpat and bake them for 15 minutes. Flip them over

and bake for an additional 10 minutes. If you like your biscotti slightly softer than reduce the baking by about 10 minutes. If you do this they will not store quite as long. If baked until dry they will store for several days, if you don’t eat them all first!

I have to give a congratulatory shout out to Johnny Iuzinni for his book that just came out today! My copy of Johnny’s Dessert FourPlay is in the mail and I look forward to baking from it soon!

I also have to share my proud parent moments with you:

My son’s first gingerbread house! With a few nibbles off the top!

For those of you who have written to me or asked me questions in the past couple of weeks, please forgive me if I have not replied yet. I promise to get back to you after January 3rd, right after I bust open a bottle of Champagne and celebrate the departure of the manuscript! 😉