We always keep plenty of reading materials on hand in the car and on even longer car rides, I’ll stash a few surprises away to bring out when things get hairy. So on our way back home from visiting family for Thanksgiving, I handed our daughter a National Geographic magazine to read, hoping to keep her quiet while her brother took a much-needed nap. Then she found the little perforated pull out animal cards with facts and turned into a quiz show host, grilling us with true/false questions. Unbeknownst to us, my husband is a peregrine falcon expert. He answered every question correctly. We learned that strawberry hermit crabs are actually very social animals, that peregrine falcons are the fastest animals on earth, and that harp seals only stay with their mothers for about two weeks. We also learned that seahorses do not have stomachs, dolphins have two stomachs, and we all get cranky when we have empty stomachs!
A few weeks ago, while on a much shorter road trip to Annapolis to fill our stomachs with food at a great local spot, Chick and Ruth’s Delly, we stumbled upon the Spice and Tea Exchange. One entire wall is all aromatic teas, like Coconut Oolong, Earl Grey Creme, and Hazelnut Cookie. Another wall displays amazing combinations of flavored sugars, like bourbon and black walnut (which you will see more of at a later date), green chili sugar, and salted caramel sugar, which got us thinking about what flavored sugars we might like to create. And finally there is an entire wall of seasoning spices, some everyday spices and some more exotic. This is where we found burgundy wine powder.
So in the tradition of a quiz show, we decided not to tell anyone what was in these biscotti, but rather ask them to guess. As we predicted, no one got it right but everyone loved them. The burgundy wine is a subtle backdrop for the sweet raspberry sugar, which we also found at the Tea and Spice Exchange, and slightly bitter dark chocolate. An excellent combination sure to please wine lovers and non-wine lovers alike. Enjoy!
Burgundy Wine and Raspberry Sugar Biscotti Drizzled with Dark Chocolate
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ heaping cup of burgundy wine powder or approximately 1 ounce
2 tablespoons raspberry sugar
1 3.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate (We used Ghirardelli Intense Dark 72% cacao.)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and burgundy wine powder.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the eggs into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
8. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
9. Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler and drizzle over the biscotti.
What to do with the ends #52: Use the ends as quiz show buzzers for contestants.