I love baking, but not in the summer. The oven makes the whole house ridiculously hot and I can’t afford to run the air conditioning cool enough to make it comfortable. However, the past few weeks I’ve been obsessed with baking, despite the heat. It all started in May when I should have been finalizing my latest book, Spring Dawn. Instead, I pulled out a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for several months- chocolate biscotti crunch cookies. My parents were visiting and they enjoyed them so much, I made a second batch a few days later for them to take on their trip back to North Carolina. Of course, I kept a few for myself too. I made some adjustments to the second batch that made them even better than the first.
With mom and dad back in North Carolina, I thought the baking urge would subside, but it only got worse and I found every excuse I could. There were new neighbors moving in; it’s their first home out of college and I wanted them to feel welcome. (He’s a sheriff and it’s always good to be nice to the law.) I whipped up a couple of lemon pound cake loafs and chocolate chip cookies to take to the new neighbors instead of going through the final formatting of Spring Dawn.
Now, I’m happy to say I did get around to finalizing the cover and formatting Spring Dawn. The e-book version will be available on June 18, but I’m still nailing down the finer points of the print version. Once I have that finished I plan to make some chocolate raspberry brownies to celebrate. In the meantime, let me share my chocolate biscotti crunch cookies.
Chocolate Biscotti Crunch Cookies
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
rolled oats and chopped hazelnuts mixed together to total one cup
3/4 cup dried cranberries
- Heat oven to 375 degrees
- Melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl 30 seconds or until melted. Stir, set aside to cool.
- Beat sugar, butter, and vanilla on medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg until light and fluffy. Mix in melted chocolate.
- Mix in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt on low speed until well blended. Stir in rolled oats, hazelnuts, 1/2 chocolate chips, and 3/4 cup dried cranberries. Shape dough into 1-1/4 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. (I line mine with parchment paper to prevent sticking.)
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until set and just beginning to crack on the surface. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.