Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I know, biscotti?? Believe me, this isn’t the super dry, crack-your-teeth hard, tasteless piece of kindling you get in lots of coffee shops. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even give that stuff a second glance. Yes, this is still a dry crunchy cookie, but there is so much flavor from the vanilla, and the texture is still tender enough to bite regularly….none of that hold it off to the side and cock your head type of biting. Of course I had to make this festive for the season. White, red and green sparkling sugars did the trick. So pretty!
Go ahead, pour yourself some coffee or tea, settle in with a good book or movie, grab a slice (or 2 – trust me) and get ready to enjoy. Dunking is optional.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour (www.kingarthurflour.com)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
⅔ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
2-3 tsp vanilla extract (I used 3)
¼ tsp almond extract (I omitted)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 cups AP Flour (I used 1 cup white whole wheat/1 cup AP)
1 cup mini cinnamon chips (my addition)
Coarse sparkling sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350º. In a medium mixing bowl, add the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and baking powder. Beat on low speed just until combined and smooth. Add the eggs and beat at low/medium speed until well mixed. The mixture may look slightly curdled – that’s ok, I just beat for another few seconds until it looked smooth again.
Add the flour one cup at a time, as well as whatever add-ins you want – in this case I added ½ cup of the cinnamon chips. Mix on low until just combined. Add the remaining flour and chips and again mix just until combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the flour.
I happen to have a biscotti pan (about an 11½”x 5½” loaf pan) – if you have one of these, just scrape the dough into the greased pan and spread evenly. If you don’t have a pan about this size, form a loaf on a parchment lined cookie sheet. The loaf should be about 11x5 and about 1” thick. Sprinkle the top with sugar and bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and lower oven temp to 325º. Let biscotti rest in loaf shape for 5 minutes. Slice loaf in ½”-¾” wide slices and lay cut side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes, then flip each slice and bake for about 12-14 minutes more until dried out and nicely browned. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
*This recipe suggests up to 2 cups of add-ins such as chips, nuts or dried fruits. I recommend starting with 1 cup and seeing how it looks – 1 cup of chips was plenty for me.