Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I've got the run-ger; or, Chocolate Toffee Biscotti

So this week is week 1 of our tapering before the half marathon. Our awesome coach, Judy, sent us an extensive email about what to do and not do during tapering:

"These next 2 weeks are a good time to do just enough to keep you sharp - keep your body remembering that you are a runner without pushing too far.  Enjoy that you have a little more time to do other things - just don't have those other things be hard exercise of another kind.  Observe the rest days.  Not even cross training is allowed on your restdays these next 2 weeks."

Alright... so I'll do "other things." I'll use the extra time to make biscotti-- something that's been on my cooking bucket list for a while.

Then I hit this part of her email:

"You will want to watch your food intake the next 2 weeks.  When we train for endurance events we eat more and when we reduce our training volume we don't always adjust our food / calorie intake.  Be careful of that but also don't slash your calories suddenly or by a lot.  Eat normal portions of a well-balanced diet and you will be fine."

Uhm... chocolate toffee biscotti is part of a well-balanced diet, right?

Chocolate Toffee Biscotti

Adapted from Small Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers 

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp instant espresso powder
Pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, plus an additional 1/3 cup for coating
1/3 cup toffee bits (such as Heath Bar)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk until blended. In a separate bowl, combine egg, sugar,  butter, and vanilla. Combine the two mixtures until a stiff dough forms; fold in chocolate chips and toffee.

Transfer the dough to a work surface, form into a log, transfer to the baking sheet, and bake 20 minutes. Remove the baked log, and allow to cool completely.

Once cooled, slice on the diagonal into 10 slices. Place slices cut side down on the baking sheet and bake another 15 minutes; remove, flip to other sliced side, and bake a final 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.

In a microwave-safe bowl, place the coating chocolate chips. Microwave for 20 seconds; remove, stir, and repeat until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate; roll in toffee bits. Place on parchment or silpat and allow to harden completely. Serve with a nice, fresh latte and good conversation.

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