Tag Archives: biscotti

Simple Walnut Biscotti

I love to bake biscotti.  Like, a lot. DSC_0017

One of my mom’s favorite treats is biscotti. I always am meaning to make it for her, as it’s really a simple thing to bake. Before I started making them I thought they would be so difficult, but they’re just like cookies, only instead of making a ton you make a loaf, and then cut and bake again. Honestly, at the end of the day they’re probably even simpler than cookies are.

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Recipe: Simple Walnut Biscotti

6 Tbs butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the maple syrup, continuing to mix. Scrape the sides every so often. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Next, throw in the flour and baking powder. Mix until combined, and then stir in the walnuts.

Form the dough into a long log, the length of your cookie sheet on a silpat. Bake for 25 minutes. Take the loaf out, slicing it in 1/2″ lengths. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until dry.

Cranberry-Orange Biscotti

I love citrus.  So does Russell, and since our 4 year anniversary is coming up I thought it would be nice to send him a little care package of biscotti.  One thing I miss the most about living together is coffee in the morning with homemade biscotti.  He doesn’t make biscotti (just like I rarely make yeasted bread), so I know he hasn’t had any since the last time I made it for him.  I’m hoping he’ll like the surprise care package, and can’t wait until we see each other in March over his Spring Break.  Maybe I’ll make another batch for him then, too.  Maybe something lemony.

 

I’ve made this recipe before, and I love it.  The orange, since you use the zest of the entire thing, is really prominent, and plays well off of the craisins.  I love citrus with white chocolate because it keeps the taste light, although it would still be fantastic with dark chocolate, or a lemon glaze.

Recipe: Orange Cranberry Biscotti

3/4 c. sugar
Zest of 1 whole orange
4 TBS butter, cubed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 c. craisins

optional: white and dark chocolate, melted (see below)

Biscotti: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the sugar and orange zest. Add the butter, and mix until creamy. Add salt, vanilla, baking powder. Mix in eggs and flour. When the flour is fully incorporated add the craisins, mixing until fairly evenly distributed. The mixture will be sticky.

Turn onto a lined baking sheet. With wet or floured hands (your choice-it’s to help it not stick to your fingers), shape the dough into 2 logs. The long will extend almost the full length of the baking sheet, and be 1-2 inches wide. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Take the biscotti out of the oven and turn the oven down to 325 degrees. Carefully place biscotti on a cutting board and slice diagonally about 1/2″ thick. Place pieces back on the baking sheet. Bake another 20 minutes. Let cool fully before serving.

White chocolate: I don’t usually measure it out, but 2 handfuls or so is probably good.  I melt it in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds at first, and then every 15 seconds until it is melted.  Be careful to watch it so it doesn’t seize.

Dark chocolate: You really don’t need that much, maybe 1/8 c.

How to get the swirls: Melt the chocolate in a small bowl or cup.  Dip the tips of each biscotti into the melted chocolate, and place back on the baking sheet or piece of parchment paper.  Then, take the melted dark chocolate and either use a pipette to pipe dots or stands of dark chocolate along the middle of the white chocolate, or a spoon/knife to try and place a strand of the chocolate down the center.  Before the chocolate has time to cool use a toothpick or the point of a knife to swirl the dark and white chocolate together.

The two methods I’ve found successful are 1. to make a line of dots along the middle and bring the toothpick down through the center of them all in one movement.  This makes hearts.  2. to make a long line down the middle and pull your toothpick back and forth making “S” shapes, but all in one long line.  You can also just mess around, in the end as long as you don’t overwork the chocolate, it’s going to look really great.

If you chocolate is hardening too quickly you might need someone to help you pipe/apply the dark chocolate.  Or do it in two batches.

Happy baking!

ChocolateOrange Biscotti (with pecans)

I have been on a little biscotti kick lately!  Yesterday afternoon I decided to make some biscotti for my mom.  She really enjoys the biscotti more then a lot of other baked things I make because it is not so sugary-sweet.  Since I’d already made two kinds of the coffee biscotti, I figured I would make some chocolate biscotti.

The recipe in my book called for zested orange.  Luckily my dad had just gotten a micro-plane for his birthday!  It’s much nicer to use then a regular grater to zest.  A lot more flavor and juiciness, plus I don’t have to worry about orange chunks in the baked goods.  After being spoiled for so long with a micro-plane I don’t think I could ever go back to zesting with a regular grater.

I have to say that the recipes out of my Professional Baking cookbook have been excellent so far.  The biscotti recipes are the best that I’ve tried.  I will say that this recipe came out a little less crunchy then the other biscotti, but I should be able to fix that with a little extra baking time.  I decided to dip the biscotti in white chocolate because I felt like after doing a taste test that they were missing something.  They were tasty on their own (they tasted a bit like chocolate oranges!) but… they just needed a little something extra.  After dipping them in the white chocolate though, they seemed a bit ugly, so I melted down a bit of semi-sweet chocolate chips and used it to create swirls on the top.  I think they turned out quite nice, and are one of the prettiest things I’ve made.  I will have to work on my design skills, but for a first go at it I think they are lovely.

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Biscotti (with pecans)

4 oz butter
6 oz sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (I did not use because we have salted butter)
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
2 eggs
2 oz water
1 tsp. vanilla
10 oz flour
1/5 oz cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 oz chopped pecans
2 oz chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1 bag white chocolate chips
A handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips
A bit of shortening (about a tsp.)

Cream together the butter, sugar and eggs. Add the orange zest, salt, water, and vanilla. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda. Mix until well combined. Stir in the pecans and chopped chocolate.

Divide in half and shape your dough into two logs, placing on a lined cookie sheet. The logs should be able 2 or so inches thick, and will run almost the entire length of the cookie sheet. The batter will be super sticky!

Bake for 30-40 minutes in an oven preheated to 325 degrees. Take out and allow to cool before cutting the logs, at an angle. Cut each piece to be about 1 inch thick. Arrange back on the cookie sheet, sliced side facing up, and bake for another 30-40 minutes at 275 degrees. Allow to cool.

Melt the white chocolate chips with your preferred method. I put them in the microwave and stir every 30 seconds until smooth. Dip the cooled biscotti in the white chocolate and place them face up back on the cookie sheet or cooling rack.

Melt the semi-sweet chocolate with about 1 tsp of shortening. With the back of a spoon, gently smear a bit of the chocolate down the center of the white chocolate on the biscotti. You want the white chocolate to still be melty, so don’t wait for it to set before doing this. Drag a toothpick through both chocolates in a zig-zag along the length of the biscotti, then a straight line down the center. This will give it the swirly. I would have fun and try different methods, see what works best for you!

Let the chocolates set and then enjoy!

Coffee Biscotti

I have tried to make biscotti several times, but for some reason it always comes out too wet.  It’s not that the taste is bad, the texture just isn’t there.  Instead of being a crumbly cookie, it is a chewier cookie.  Last week I decided to try again, after looking through my cookbooks.  I thought it would be nice to make a batch for my mom, who enjoys cookies that aren’t as sweet as ‘normal’ cookies.  The first go-around I made a coffee-flavored biscotti dipped in chocolate.

This week I decided to make another batch, since my friends and family inhaled the last batch-in less then 24 hours.  My parents suggested that this time I put in nuts.  Originally I though I would use almonds, but since we were out I decided on chopped pecans.  I dipped the biscotti in chocolate again, but this time I dried them chocolate-side up and sprinkled more chopped pecans over the chocolate.  What came out was a very crumbly, perfectly ‘dry’ biscotti, with a bit of sweetness from the chocolate and a beautiful peanut sprinkle (if I do say so myself).  I love this recipe, and am looking forward to making the other two varieties in the same cookbook, Professional Baking.

Recipe: Coffee Biscotti, adapted from Espresso Biscotti from the cookbook Professional Baking

4 oz. butter
6 oz. sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 oz. hot water
2 TBS instant coffee powder
10 oz. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 oz. chopped pecans

Several handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 TBS or so of shortening
A handful of chopped pecans

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs and continue to beat.  Combine the hot water and instant coffee in a small bowl and stir to dissolve.  Add to the creamed mixture.  Add in the flour and baking powder, mixing to combine.  Stir in the chopped pecans.

The mixture will be pretty sticky.  Divide in half and shape into a logs about 2 1/2 inches thick-you don’t need to flatten them.  Place the logs onto a silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Now, to shape the logs what I did was I put half the sticky batter into my hands and quickly shaped them in the air over the baking sheet.  Once it got too unruly I set the long down and finished the shaping best I could on the baking sheet.  The book suggests an egg wash at this point, but I didn’t.

Bake in the oven at a preheated 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Take the dough out of the oven when it starts to golden.  Turn the oven down to 275 degrees.  Let the biscotti cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack.  When it is cool enough to handle, place on a cutting board and cut diagonally.  Each piece should be about 1/2-1 inch thick, or as thick as you want your biscotti to be.  Mine was about 3/4 inches thick.  Place the pieces back on the baking sheet, cut side down.

Remember your oven should be at 275 degrees right now.  Place the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for another 30 minutes, until the cookies are toasted and dry.  Let the biscotti cool on a cooling rack.

Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in the microwave or your preferred method of melting chocolate.  In my microwave I stirred every 25 seconds until it was completely melted.  Be sure to not over melt the chocolate, it starts to get dry and weird if you do.

Dip each piece in the chocolate and you can either place chocolate-side down on a non-stick surface, or chocolate-side up.  For the first batch I did chocolate-side down, the second batch I did chocolate-side up.  After I was done dipping I sprinkled the rest of to chopped pecans over the biscotti, trying to evenly distribute.  For both methods it takes about an hour or two for the chocolate to set.

Store in an air-tight container so that the biscotti doesn’t get stale.