A few weeks ago I got a request to make Biscotti. Biscotti? Really? I had never had a biscotti, to me they just seemed like rock hard cookies you had to gnaw on, kind of reminded me of teething biscuits. I think it was because I am not a fan of “dunking”. I just never understood why people would “dunk” their cookies in a glass of milk, making a perfectly good cookie all soft and soggy…ewww! Even though I had never made them, my Daring Bakers instincts kicked in and I was up for the challenge!
First off I figured I should learn a little about what a biscotti really was. Biscotti are twice-baked biscuits originating in Italy. The biscuits are long and narrow, made dry and crunchy through cutting the loaf of dough while still hot and fresh from baking in the oven. Biscotti are usually accompanied with a beverage for dunking. Originally made for dunking in wine, they are also enjoyed dunking in coffee and teas.
After much searching, ( I had no idea there were as many varieties of Biscotti) I decided on something simple for the first batch. The only request that was made was that it had “almond” in it.
Cherry, Almond & White Chocolate Biscotti
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs
1/2 cup dried berries (cherries or cranberries)
1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
white chocolate baking squares or chips (optional)
1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Mix eggs, oil, and extracts in a bowl with an electric mixer.
3. Then add in dry ingredients and mix together until combined.
4. Then add in berries and almonds – and either mix by hand with a wooden spoon, or very briefly with the electric mixer.
** I added the nuts and mixed until combined. Removed half the dough and added the cherries to the rest, so I had to different kinds**
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface. Knead lightly a few times to be sure that berries and almonds are well-distributed. (Dough will be sticky, so you may need to lightly re-flouring your surface once or twice.)
6. Shape each half into long logs, and flatten to 1″ thickness. Place on a baking sheet.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
8. Remove rolls from baking sheet and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
9. Cut each roll diagonally into 1/2″ slices.
10. Place the slices cut-sides down on a baking sheet.
11. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove, and turn each slice over, and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and cool on wire racks.
To add white chocolate, simply melt your desired amount in a double boiler or (carefully!) in the microwave. Use a fork to drizzle it over the biscotti slices. Or you can dip each slice in a bowl of the melted white chocolate.
Out of the oven, cooled, pictures taken, I have stalled long enough…I will taste. I have to admit I was not looking forward to it, but figured I should at least try them before I give them away.
Verdict…They were not bad, quite crunchy!!! Again I had a flashback to 20 years ago of my little cousins gnawing on those awful almond teething cookies. But I did go back for another bite…they were growing on me. I figured if I was going to have a biscotti I should do the “dunk”! So, I brewed up my favourite loose leaf herbal peppermint tea and go in for the “dunk”….
I hesitated a bit….thinking of that soggy cookie….but I go for it
I was pleasantly surprised! It was pretty good! It did not go soggy, it was not gooey, just right. Soft enough to chew and not have to gnaw, but not mushy. Hmmm, I went in for the second dunk! At which point I grabbed the cup and biscotti and headed over to the couch, might as well enjoy in comfort. I’m not sure if it was a good thing having made these, just another cookie I have to try to stay away from!!!!! I am already looking at a few others I would like to try.