Thursday, January 16, 2014

Italian Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Italian Hot Chocolate

I have discovered something wonderfully magical.  Something smooth, and very rich.  Something delicious.  Did I mention chocolate?  Italian Hot Chocolate.  Oh man!  I was lucky enough to turn on my T.V. one day in November and Studio 5 was on.  A lady named Sue Neal was on, making Hot Chocolate from around the world.  She did Belgium, Italian, and Mexican.  I love hot chocolate in the middle of winter or the middle of summer.  It doesn't matter.  So when I saw what was happening, I was glued to the screen.  I was intrigued with the Italian version, because apparently the Italians like their hot chocolate thick  The recipe involves corn starch.  Needless to say I made it for Jason and I that very night.  It is super simple and involves very normal ingredients...nothing special.  But it makes something extra special.

Serves: 4- 1/2(ish) cup servings

1 1/4 c. Milk
1/2 c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 c. plus 2 to 3 tbsp Sugar (to taste)
1 1/2 tbsp Corn Starch
1/8 tsp. Salt

Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Whisk until everything is mixed together.  Continue whisking frequently to prevent the milk from scorching.  Bring to a Boil.  Whisk constantly until it thickens.  Serve immediately to prevent a skin from forming.  Or cover the chocolate with plastic wrap until ready to re-heat and serve.

~The first time I made this I made the mistake of just splitting this recipe among the two of us.  It is way too rich for that big of a serving.  (That says a lot coming from me).  So I half the recipe for two servings.
~Jason thinks it is too thick so I add an extra splash of milk.  I haven't measured my splash, but I would say a tablespoon or two extra.
~I like to add about a 1/2 tsp vanilla at the end.  When it is done, I take it off the heat, add the vanilla and whisk it up good before pouring it into cups.  Yummy!

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Pretty much ever since Jason and I got married he has wanted me to make biscotti.  And ever since we got married I have avoided it.  Biscotti intimidated me.  I don't really know why.  Anyway, the other night while we were enjoying our small cup of Italian Hot Chocolate Jason says "You know what would be good with this?"  And I fell for it and asked "What?" and he says "Biscotti"  And I knew it was time for me to face the crunchy cookie.  And now that I have, all I can say is "What was my deal?  So easy! And yummy!"  So if any of you out there are afraid of Biscotti, give it a chance, you'll be glad you did.

I wanted to start simple, you know baby steps, so I decided to go with chocolate chip.  And conveniently enough found a basic recipe over at Studio 5.

Serves: About 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies

1/2 c. Butter, partially melted
1 c. Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tbsp Vanilla (or 1/2 tbsp vanilla and 1/2 tbsp almond extract)
2 1/2 c. Flour
1 tbsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 - 3/4 c. Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl put partially melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Stir in the chocolate chips. Add flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix until combined. Divide dough in half (dough will be sticky).  Flour your hands good and form each half into a "loaf" about 2 inches by 12 inches on cookie sheet leaving about 4 inches of space between them.  Bake for 25-30 min.  You want it to be a light golden brown.  The tops will start to crack a bit.  Remove from oven and adjust the temperature to 300 degrees.  Let the biscotti cool at least 10 minutes.  You want to be able to touch it without burning yourself.  Slice the loaves into 1/2 inch think pieces on an angle.  Tip them onto their sides and return to the oven for 7 minutes.  Then flip to the other side and bake for another 7 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired. 

And there you have it!  The perfect movie night treat!  Especially on a cold night!

I think my next batch of biscotti (yes there will be a next and a next) will be coconut or brownie.  What are your favorite biscotti flavors?


  1. So we tried the hot chocolate tonight . . . yum! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    1. YAY! I'm so glad you tried it and liked it! I love it! Thanks for letting me know!