Which came first, biscotti or ice cream? You could contend that it is an irrelevant riddle and not quite as philosophic as the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” However, in our house we would beg to disagree. Actually, we disagree about quite a bit on a daily basis. “Which one of these two movies should we watch?” is a question that is almost always answered by one picking the movie in my left hand and the other picking the movie in my right hand, just for spite and the sake of disagreeing. We believe in giving limited choices for the kids to decide on themselves, unlike the woman I overheard in the store who plunked her toddler down in front of the candy rack at the register and asked him which candy he’d like. That is either an extra 15 minutes at the register, which is going to piss off the cashier as she waits for the kid to decide and infuriate the customers behind her, or is going to result in a tantrum when he can’t decide and the frustrated or embarrassed mother picks for him. Either way it is a bad scene.
In our case, the ice cream came first and there was no disagreement that we needed some biscotti to serve with it. The monkeys and I decided to make some Georgia Peach Ice Cream from the Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book with some peaches we picked at the farm a few days ago. We added butter toasted pecans and had visions of serving mini chocolate chips on top. Lately we (the kids) like to eat ice cream in a waffle bowl. Then we thought, why eat the ice cream with a regular spoon? We could have a totally edible sweet treat without using any bowls or utensils at all (less dishes!). So while we waited for the ice cream to harden, we made Butter Pecan Biscotti with Mini Chocolate Chips to scoop up the frozen goodness. Ice cream and biscotti are best friends. My two monkeys, who really are best friends, found this pairing particularly agreeable. We use mini chocolate chips because they tend to spread the chocolate more evenly throughout the biscotti, but you can always use regular semi-sweet chocolate chips. Since we were using the biscotti as spoons, we decided to make three biscotti logs to keep each one small and manageable for little hands.
Butter Pecan Biscotti with Mini Chocolate Chips
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup butter toasted pecans
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, and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg whites (save the two remaining yolks to top the logs before baking).
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture 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. Add the chocolate chips and butter toasted pecans, kneading the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.
6. Separate the dough in thirds. 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. Whisk together the two remaining egg yolks. Brush the top of the logs with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
8. 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.
9. 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.
What to do with the ends #20: Shoot the ends through the air with a homemade popsicle stick catapult.