What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Mine growing up was the vast amount of baking that went down in my mom’s kitchen at this time of year. I loved being right there in the action helping out in any way I could. I really have her to thank for my love of baking. Another one from growing up was getting together with my swimming friends to do a Pollyanna party and cookie swap. I distinctively remember one particular cookie swap where everyone was goggling over the Old Navy puffy vest that I brought as a gift. It got stolen throughout the whole exchange game we played. Not only did we leave the party with a gift, but we brought home a delicious array of cookies baked by all of us.
Cookie swaps are one of my favorite ways to celebrate the holidays so when I heard about the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, I just knew I had to get in on the action. Here is what went down, I was assigned 3 different bloggers who I sent one dozen cookies to, in return I would receive 3 different dozen cookies from 3 bloggers myself! It was so exciting to arrive home to a package, and I loved finding some new blogs to add to my reading.
I went back and forth on what cookie to send to my matches. I stressed over this the entire time waiting for my matches. Everything I wanted to make just didn’t seem to be likely to hold up throughout the shipping process. My mom suggested making some of these chocolate chip biscotti, the perfect little thing to package up. I was a little intimidated of biscotti at first, but in the end it was a lot simpler to make than I thought. In my package, I also included the hot chocolate on a stick because if you are going to have biscotti you MUST have something to dunk it in. Thank you to all the bloggers who sent me cookies, and I hope those who received mine enjoyed them. I can’t wait to participate again next year!
Chocolate Chip Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold margarine or butter
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet-chocolate mini chips
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
What you’ll do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, mix all your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Spoon 1 tablespoon beaten eggs into cup; reserve for brushing before baking. Add chocolate chips, walnuts, vanilla, and remaining beaten eggs to flour mixture; stir until evenly moistened. With hand, knead mixture a few times in bowl until dough forms.
Empty bowl contents onto a floured surface, coat your hands with flour, divide dough into quarters. Shape each quarter into a 9″ by 2″ log. Place logs crosswise, 4 inches apart, on 2 large cookie sheets. With pastry brush, brush tops and sides of logs with reserved egg. Bake logs 25 minutes. Cool logs on cookie sheet on wire rack 10 minutes.
Place 1 log on cutting board. With serrated knife, cut warm log crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. Place slices upright, 1/4 inch apart, on cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining logs. Bake slices 15 minutes to allow biscotti to dry out. Cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Store biscotti in tightly covered container.