Michael and I would like to celebrate our new budgeting system by baking a coffee-lover’s favorite, Brownie Biscotti!

One of the main reasons I ended up making these was to find a way to use what I had on hand. Michael and I are trying out a new budget over the next few weeks and meal planning is one of our big changes. Ideally, we want to schedule all of our meals ahead of time to last over the course of two weeks. The goal being to prevent those little trips to the store (not even for the tiniest thing, like… mini chocolate chips) thereby reducing our grocery costs.

Well, since I like keeping sweet snacks on hand for Michael to take to work, I decided on making biscotti. I scanned the recipe to check off ingredients and found I had everything I needed to make them – except those pesky “mini” chocolate chips. Which really in the scheme of things, is like a negative eight on my crisis scale. So I made an executive decision and used regular-sized chocolate chips.
Mini chocolate chips are for lightweights
The result came out even more yummy than usual. In fact, I’m not even going to bother using the minis in this recipe anymore. It’s just one less thing for me to keep on hand. I buy those big bags of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips at Costco anyways, so it’s not like we’re experiencing a chocolate chip famine over here.

In the past I’ve had problems with the biscotti sticking, so I always spay the cookie sheet with Pam, use a couple sheets of wax paper, then I spray more Pam. Spraying the cookie sheet helps the wax paper from moving, and spraying after helps the loaves from sticking. I formed the “loaves” on the sheet and baked them for 20 minutes.

Unbaked “loaves”

Cocoa is notorious for making desserts drier, so I also have trouble with this recipe being on the brittle side when I’m slicing the loaves. To help with the breakage and crumb problem, I used a pizza cutter instead of my bread knife. Worked like a charm. I kept the baking temperature at 375°F when I put the biscotti back in to harden. Each side baked for eight minutes, rather than the ten to fifteen the recipe calls for.

Fresh baked loaves, waiting to be “biscottied”
They came out perfectly firm and crunchy. I went ahead and melted some Lindt 85% cocoa with vanilla almond bark and drizzled it over the biscotti. I always reserve the corners for “taste-testing” and hands-down, this ended up being one of my best batches.

Who knew budgeting could taste so good?
Where’s a hot cup of coffee when you need one?

Is budgeting easy or difficult for you? Can you think of ways to reward yourself for your good budgeting habits?

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