When you think about Italian food, chances are that pasta and sauce come to mind. However, one simply cannot forget the sweeter side of Italy. Italian desserts are pretty famous the worldwide. From tiramisu, to gelato, to biscotti--- you just can’t lose.
Chocolate- Peppermint Biscotti
(Makes about 3 dozen)
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp. peppermint extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peppermint candy
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, butter, extract, and eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.
Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each into a 10-inch by 2-inch log on the baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Do Not Shut Off Oven! Remove from oven and place baking sheet in a wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Transfer each log to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices cut side down on the baking sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes, turning biscotti over once during time. Cool on wire rack.
Melt remaining chocolate chips. Dip half of each biscotti into the chocolate and sprinkle with peppermint candy. Allow to cool on waxed paper.
Cantaloupe Italian Ice
1 quart (32 ounces) water
1 pound, 4 ounces sugar
1 lemon, juiced
2 medium-sized ripe cantaloupes
Dissolve sugar and water in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool.
Peel and seed the cantaloupes. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Puree in a food processor. Strain through a medium sieve. Mix strained cantaloupe juice, sugar syrup, and lemon juice with a wire whisk.
Pour into an ice cream machine. Add some cantaloupe pulp, if desired. Freeze to a smooth consistency, according to manufacturer's directions.
You may wish to place in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator for a few hours to harden. Serve in a dessert glass topped with whipped cream or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
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