Thankfully I still have a small stash of crumbly good hazelnut and chocolate filled Nutella biscotti wrapped up and tucked away in my kitchen for this coming weekend-the rest of my biscotti is either on it’s way or has arrived in Athens, Greece – that’s right GREECE not Georgia! Sending this batch of Nutella biscotti the furthest distance any of my homemade cookies has ever traveled -thanks to my French Fridays with Dorie Valentines Day cookie exchange! Although I would be happy to send a batch to Athens, Georgia-let me know if I have any biscotti loving readers in Athens;-)
In addition to sending my biscotti half way around the world I’m also linking these delicious cookies a little closer to home at The Chocolate Party hosted by Roxana’s Home Baking which features monthly chocolate themed recipes. The month of February is chocolate chocolate so I’m hoping that the Nutella in my biscotti counts as the second chocolate after the mini chocolate chips.
Today is also reentry day for me after a long Superbowl weekend in New Orleans with lots of action that as a San Francisco 49ers fan included plenty of emotional ups and downs. We didn’t get much sleep in NOLA as we were on the go all day and most of the nights, but it was a good kind of tired.
After a long travel day -don’t you just hate it when you have to fly in the opposite direction from where you’re going to catch a connecting flight home? Which is probably why I have Athens, Georgia on my mind. Airline people-we need more direct flights from SFO to New Orleans. I know I finally made it home by the good night’s sleep I had in my own bed.
The Super Bowl is an experience, talk about intense being in the Super Dome with more than 70,000 cheering football fans from all over the nation. From our terrace level seats we saw Jennifer Hudson sing God Bless America with the Sandy Hook Choir and Alicia Keys in a long red dress sitting behind a white grand piano sing the National Anthem. We watched Beyonce perform at the half time show, which I think sucked all the power out of the Super Dome and caused the blackout which was pretty surprising to all of us in the audience. Surrounded by fellow 49er faithful fans, we experienced up close and personal the big letdown of losing to the purple people eaters from Baltimore when we were so close to winning in the last few moments of the game.
After the game we had the pleasure of going to the 49ers after party where we were entertained by the rapper Snoop Dogg -my first rap show ever -I have to say it was entertaining and an especially cool experience to have with my family. Later in the evening, I think it may have actually been closer to the wee hours of morning a few players came out on the stage to dance for us. Seeing the smiles in the crowd and enjoying the music with everyone was just what the doctor ordered after the sobering experience of losing the Super Bowl.
We had a great weekend in NOLA with so many fantastic experiences that I will remember including having a very special lunch the day before the Super Bowl at Emeril’s New Orleans with Emeril himself working the line in his open kitchen. The food was amazing and after lunch Emeril paid us a short visit at our table-we are huge fans so that was a thrill! I’ll share some photos next post.
We rented an apartment in the Garden District which was a good idea as the French Quarter where we stayed last visit was crazy with a million people. We really didn’t spend much time at our home base which was fine because there is so much to do and see in New Orleans. I like to visit a city by walking everywhere which is what we did over the weekend including walking to the Super Dome for the game-everything is so close and New Orleans feels like such a livable city with amazing food at every turn. Too many good places to eat and not enough time to try all the restaurants friends recommended -we’ll just have to go back sooner rather than later.
Adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Nutella, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste, optional but good
- 2 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup roasted, skinned hazelnuts, lightly chopped
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth, light and fluffy, scrape down several times if necessary.
- Add the Nutella and mix until smooth.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Mix in the vanilla.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt.
- Add flour mixture to the butter mixture all at once and blend on low speed just until the flour mixture is mixed in the dough.
- Remove the bowl from the stand and stir in the hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
- Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a log using a lightly floured counter-logs should be about 2" wide and 14" long.
- Place both dough logs on 1 parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the logs are firm to the touch and slightly golden brown on the edges.
- Place the baking sheet on a metal rack and cool logs completely.
- Turn the oven down to 275F.
- Cut the logs in slices 3/8" wide and place on both parchment lined baking sheets.
- Lightly toast the biscotti in the oven for about 35 minutes, rotating and switching the baking pans half way through this process.
- Remove from the oven and cool on metal racks.