Nuts for Biscotti….

Well, it seems my parents are hooked on biscotti again and this time it’s mine.  (Yeah!)  Ok, I’m hooked too…  So, now I’m on a kick to try out as many different kinds of biscotti as I can.  Since I once had a rather unusual breakfast obsession with Nutella on toast at one time in the past, it seemed logical (to me) that whenever I think of hazelnuts, I think of chocolate and coffee.  I should say that I like my biscotti big so I can just grab one and go, so if you prefer smaller biscotti, just make two logs instead of one.

 

 

Double Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Double Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

2-2/3 cups flour
1/3 cups cocoa powder
2-1/4 tsp  baking powder
3/4 salt
1 Tbsp espresso powder
3 eggs
1-1/3 cup (9 oz) organic cane sugar
3/4 c safflower oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1-1/2 c hazelnuts
3/4 c dark chocolate chips

 

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Roast hazelnuts for 15 minutes or until fragrant.  After 8 minutes, shake pan to rotate hazelnuts.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder & salt.
  • Add vanilla to the oil.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar on medium for three minutes until pale and thick.
  • Beat in vanilla & oil mixture on low speed.
  • Using a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture.
  • Add the hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
  • Using a spatula, transfer dough (which should be quite sticky) to the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Shape into one long log (will be about the length of the baking sheet & 6 inches wide).
  • Wet fingertips and gently smooth the top of the logs.
  • Bake the logs for 25 minutes.  They should be crisp and golden on the outside.  They will still be soft on the inside.
  • Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut the logs into 1-inch wide pieces.  Use a serrated steak knife if possible.  Cut slowly and wipe the knife off between cuts to ensure clean cuts each time.
  • Using a long icing knife or long spatula, lift the pieces to the new baking sheet.  Lay the cut pieces on their side.  Space them evenly about 1/2-inch or more apart.
  • Bake in the oven for 22 minutes or until they are crisp and brown on the outside.
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes or until cool to the touch.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  As the cookies cool they will become crisper.
  • Store in an airtight container.

The Gift That Money Can’t Buy

What do you get the people with everything?  The one thing they can’t find.  For my parents, that is (oddly enough…) biscotti.  They used to get cherry-pistachio biscotti at a spot near my house.  It was amazing and for a while I was hooked on it too.  It wasn’t as crisp as most biscotti so you didn’t need to dip it in coffee/tea in order to take a bite.  As a complete coffee addict, I need every drop of coffee.  When you dip biscotti in coffee, crumbs pool in the bottom of the cup.  I will not be robbed of my last sip, so I refuse to dip my biscotti.  So, as luck would have it, the spot stopped making the “biteable” biscotti and reverted to the standard biscotti that required dipping.  I kept going back to the spot over and over hoping I would find the biscotti but they never went back to the old formula.  So…. I figured I’d do what I do best and try and figure out a way to make it myself. My mother tested the biscotti and has deemed them as good if not better than the original.  Although, as I said, she is my mother so you may need to take this approval with a grain of salt….lol.

 

Cherry Pistachio Biscotti

 Cherry-Pistachio Biscotti 

3 cups (15 oz) flour
2-1/4 tsp  baking powder
3/4 salt
3 eggs
1-1/3 cup (9 oz) organic cane sugar
3/4 c safflower oil
2 tsp orange zest (zest of 2 medium oranges)
1 tbsp vanilla
1-1/2 c pistachios, roasted & salted
3/4 c dried tart cherries

 

  • Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Sift flour, baking powder & salt.
  • Zest orange into the oil.  Add vanilla.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar on medium for three minutes until pale and thick.
  • Beat in orange zest, vanilla & oil mixture on low speed.
  • Using a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture.
  • Add the pistachios and cherries.
  • Using a spatula, transfer dough (which should be quite sticky) to the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Shape into one long log (will be about the length of the baking sheet & 6 inches wide).
  • Wet fingertips and gently smooth the top of the logs.
  • Bake the logs for 25 minutes.  They should be crisp and golden on the outside.  They will still be soft on the inside.
  • Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut the logs into 1-inch wide pieces.  Use a serrated steak knife if possible.  Cut slowly and wipe the knife off between cuts to ensure clean cuts each time.
  • Using a long icing knife or long spatula, lift the pieces to the new baking sheet.  Lay the cut pieces on their side.  Space them evenly about 1/2-inch or more apart.
  • Bake in the oven for 22 minutes or until they are crisp and brown on the outside.
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes or until cool to the touch.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  As the cookies cool they will become crisper.
  • Store in an airtight container.