Sunday, September 20, 2009
Updated: 1/25/10. My apologies. I just realized that I left the baking powder out of the recipe. My bad and I apologize to anyone who made some rather heavy biscotti. It's now correct.
Still raining and when I get bored I tend to cook. Somehow biscotti seemed appropriate and they are very easy to make. If you have looked at them in the grocery they are also quite expensive and there is no excuse to pay two prices for them when they are a snap and cheap to make yourself. A good biscotti can make a very good cup of coffee a great cup of coffee. BTW I have gone back to making my morning coffee with my French coffee press. You use less beans and it makes a superior cup of coffee as you can get the water hot enough to properly extract all the good stuff out of a good bean. The typical drip maker, even the expensive ones, don't actually get the water hot enough to properly brew coffee.
Anyhow, let's make some biscotti( this recipe comes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything)
4 TBLSP unsalted butter (you can make biscotti without butter but I like the flavor and texture a little butter brings to the party and without the little bit of fat the butter brings the biscotti are really, really crunchy)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 TSP vanilla or almond extract (your choice) but I like vanilla
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of kosher salt
Preheat your oven to 375F and prepare a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan by using a Silpat or parchment paper or by buttering and flouring.
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy then add the eggs one at a time fully incorporating the first egg before adding the second. After the eggs are nicely mixed in add your vanilla or almond extract and then the flour in three separate steps. Make sure each third of flour is fully mixed before adding the next. Be careful not to over mix or you will develop the gluten and make the cookies tough. Don't forget the salt.
At this point you can add some additional goodies. The batch I made today had chopped walnuts (1/2 cup) and 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries but you can add whatever you want. Pine buts, almonds, pistachios, dried cherries or even chocolate chips. The batter will take about a cup of additional ingredients.
Once you mix in the additional stuff divide the dough into two equal parts and form two logs about 3 inches wide and 3/4 inches thick. You can do this right on the prepared baking sheet. Bake these about 30 minutes until they are lightly browned and then remove from the oven and set aside for about 10-15 minutes. Turn your oven down to 250F.
After you can handle the big cookies cut them diagonally into about 1/2 inch wide bars. Put them back on the baking sheet cut side up and return them to the oven to finish for about 30 minutes turning them over about half way through. Cool them on racks. Makes about 3 dozen or so. These will keep in a tightly sealed container for a week with no problem if they last that long.