Showing posts with label biscotti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biscotti. Show all posts

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Honey Pistachio Biscotti

Honey Pistachio Biscotti
The other night a girlfriend and I went out for margaritas. We had great fun and a few drinks, but realized we were a little old when we couldn't take the loud music anymore and ended up at a nearby coffee shop sipping chai tea lattes and nibbling on biscotti. Margaritas and chai tea? That's a girls night if you ask me.

Pistachio Biscotti
If you're in the San Diego area, The Living Room in La Jolla is quite an eclectic little spot, perfect for people watching and GOOD biscotti. I fell in love with their pistachio biscotti, most of all because it had a cute green tint. I'm one of those people who will like food if it's cute, mini, or a fun color.

Pistachio Biscotti
Since we're in a recession and all, I figure that I should make my own biscotti as opposed to spending $3 for one small, but oh-so-heavenly stick. I even decided I'd make mine green too, but ultimately forgot that part while cooking. I'm known to do that. Hubby was happy because unlike me, he doesn't think green food is attractive unless it's a veggie.

Pistachio Biscotti
I found this recipe from Ellie Krieger, one of my favorite monotone Food Network chefs. At least she doesn't have a big head, right?!

These biscotti are not quite as sweet as others I've made, but it's a nice change of pace. They pair well with tea and are an excellent mid-day snack. Other biscotti recipes instruct to turn down the oven after the first bake and let the biscotti harden at a low temperature for a slow bake; Ellie's bake at the same temperature throughout, so the process is a little more speedy! Enjoy.

Honey Pistachio Biscotti
Courtesy of Ellie Krieger

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey (I also added a few dollops of agave nectar for good measure)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl beat together the sugar, honey, eggs, oil, zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract until well combined. In batches add the dry ingredients until the mixture forms a dough. Stir in the pistachios.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead several times. Shape into a log about 10 inches long and 3 inches wide. Sprinkle the top with sugar to taste. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes,or until the top is firm. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut 1/2-inch diagonal slices. Arrange on the baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake the biscotti until golden 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. If you like yours crunchy, turn off the oven and let the biscotti sit in there for a little while longer.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Unspooky Banana Pecan Biscotti

It's almost Halloween and as much as I'd like to tell you that I have a cute & spooky creation to share with you, I just don't. Sorry. But, if you're looking for some inspiration check out this creation or this one.

Amazing, huh? Ok, back to me.

banana pecan biscottiI love Halloween. I really do. Candy. Witches. Costumes. Pumpkins. ...all the best things in life. However, I have none of these for you today. Just some very unspooky Banana Pecan Biscotti. Though I've made banana biscotti before, I figured I'd try a new recipe just to shake things up. On a random side note, how lucky are Trick or Treaters out on the west coast? Growing up in the Midwest, I still remember being devastated because I had to trick or treat with a coat on and a scarf wrapped around my neck, clearly ruining my Strawberry Shortcake costume. It's still warm and sunny here so you can dress up as anything you want! I suppose kids here don't have sledding so it's an even trade.

For those of you who haven't made biscotti, it's an easy process though time consuming due to the long and slow baking process. It's fairly foolproof because if you overbake, you'll have hard cookies....which is sort of the point. :) All in all, it's wonderful to have biscotti to dunk in your morning tea or coffee and we can't get enough of these!

I added some extra spice (surprise, surprise) and cut the amount of pecans used in half. Sometimes biscotti are too nutty for my tastes. This was a delicious recipe with a mild, sophisticated taste. The Banana Bread Biscotti I baked awhile ago were more of a dessert, while these were a better accompaniment to a steamy cup of tea or coffee. The dough was a little dry, so make sure to measure your flour lightly. We also like our biscotti a little thick so we didn't quite end up with 2 dozen as the recipe calls for.
banana pecan biscottiToday's the last day to enter the cookbook giveaway so get in while you can!

Banana Pecan Biscotti
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 large very ripe banana, mashed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Combine banana, oil, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl; stir in flour mixture and pecans. Dough may be dry so use hands to combine.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; shape dough into 2 (8-inch-long) rolls with floured hands. Place rolls on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness.

Bake at 350° for 23 minutes. Remove rolls from baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. With a serrated knife, cut each roll diagonally into 12 (1/2-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 250°; bake 15 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake an additional 15 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire racks.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Though I would have preferred to spend my weekend toasting in the sun, it seems that the weather never cooperates when needed. I'm sure the sunshine will make a triumphant return when I return to work in a windowless office. Figures. Well, welcome back to all that were away. I hope your journey into catching up on Google Reader posts has been as fun & entertaining as mine. Y'all were cooking away while I was gone!

After spending a rather chilly weekend in Scottsdale, we returned home to some similar cloudy, temperate weather. Isn't the saying, "If life hands you lemons, make lemonade?" Well, since the house is still rather cool & I'm no longer terrified of making biscotti, I decided that if I couldn't frolic in the sun, I'd spend some time baking a relatively healthy yet sinful treat for an after dinner treat.

Unlike other biscotti recipes I have made, this one uses reduced fat peanut butter as the main source of fat - no butter here. Similar to the others, a dry dough is rolled into a log and twice baked to result in a crunchy cookie wonderful with a cup of coffee or tea.

Biscotti Log after first bake:

After a cut & second bake, the biscotti are ready to eat!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Adapted from One Smart Cookie
Yield: about 16 biscotti, depending on desired thickness

2 cups all purpose flour (can substitute 1 cup all purpose, 1 cup whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 /2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup reduced fat peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 - 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg & egg whites, and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Add flour mixture and mini chips. Stir by hand until just combined. The dough will seem very dry and it'll work best to use your hands to combine.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide in half. Shape each into an 8" log. Place the logs 2-3" apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Flatten each log into a rectangle about 3" wide.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until firm and cracking on top. Place on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 275.

6. Place logs on cutting board, and cut each diagonally into 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick slices, using a serrated knife. Place biscotti cut side down onto the cookie sheet and return to oven for 20 minutes. Flip biscotti over and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chocolate Drizzled Banana Biscotti

Chocolate Drizzle Banana Biscotti
It's happened again: my house smells like bananas. As much as I love bananas, I absolutely cannot stand the smell of them once ripened. Inconveniently, I also am unable to buy a normal amount of bananas at the grocery and usually end the week with a motley crew of mottled, speckled, and yes, smelly bananas. As a result, I may be posting a few more banana recipes this week. On a side note, hubby has also put me on a one grocery trip a week restriction. As much as I love to plan, I'm not great at planning meals and ingredients for the week so I end up frequenting the grocery store nearly every other day. Each of those "one ingredient" shopping trips ends up being a minimum of $40, so I suppose this restriction is a good thing.

On to the good stuff, today's banana recipe is a Chocolate Drizzled Banana Biscotti. Since I have finally overcome my fear of baking them, a biscotti dunked in a cup of hot tea has become an almost nightly treat for hubby and me. Hmm, how far we've come from our early days of dating when 'biscotti & tea' usually took the form of a couple rounds of beer :)

Like I mentioned, these babies are the perfect accompaniment for a cup of java or tea. The banana taste doesn't come through too strongly -- good when enjoying with a tasty beverage, but not so good when you're in the mood for something banana-y. Next time around, I may experiment with adding more bananas to the mix. As it is, these biscotti are still delicious and satisfy my craving for something sweet and crunchy. Oh, and the chocolate drizzle on top never hurts.

Chocolate Drizzled Banana Biscotti
Adapted from One Smart Cookie
Yield: 2 dozen biscotti (I like mine a little more thick, so I ended up with 1 dozen)

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large banana)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
semi-sweet chocolate chips or white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl, combine oil, banana, egg and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Add flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until just combined. The mixture will seem dry...very dry, but that's what helps give its crunch later on. You'll need to get in there with your hands to mix the dough until it comes together.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide in half and shape each piece into a log (about 8"). Place the logs 2-3" apart on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten each log into a rectangle about 3" wide.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until firm and cracked on top. Transfer logs to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Decrease oven to 275 degrees.
  5. Once cooled, place the logs on a cutting board, and cut each log diagonally into 1/2"-3/4" thick slices with a serrated knife. Place the slices cut side down on the cookie sheet. Return to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes; flip the cookies over and bake another 20 minutes on the other side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Place chocolate chips in a ziploc bag. Place chocolate in microwave for 40 seconds. Continue in 10-15 second intervals until chips are melted. Snip off a tiny corner of the ziploc bag and drizzle over biscotti.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Small Batch Cinnamon Raisin Biscotti

Cinnamon Raisin Biscotti
Biscotti has always been a favorite of mine, but I've never understood the logistics of making it. How do they end up looking so perfect, crisp and with nice, slanted edges? My first attempt with baking biscotti was an utter disaster. Instead of the elegant biscotti I had hoped for, I ended up with a lumpy and doughy mess---none of the tooth-breaking crunch that I love. I avoided making these again for months, allowing my biscotti cravings to be satisfied by the #1 money extortioner, Starbucks. Well, I'm not sure what inspired me, but I decided to take a second go and have found that with a good recipe, making biscotti isn't all that challenging!

By design, the making of biscotti is not a quick process. The word 'biscotto' roughly translates to "twice baked." The biscotti dough is first shaped into a rectangular log and baked until golden in color and cracking on top. Meanwhile, the scent of cinnamon fills your house! The log is then removed from the oven to cool and the oven temperature decreased to prepare for the second baking. The biscotti are cut into the familiar diagonal slabs and re-baked at a low temperature to allow them to dry out, providing for the crispiness that we all love. I chose a cinnamon raisin recipe from a fabulous cookbook, One Smart Cookie, since I've never actually had this type of biscotti before. More traditional flavorings include anise, chocolate chips or almond cranberry. And because I was tentative of a repeat of past failures, I halved the recipe which resulted in 6 biscotti and a few ends for the chef (me).

For those of you that know me, you know my second passion behind cooking (oh, and my hubby) is gardening. Here's a glimpse of my new spring flowers! (I ate my biscotti on the patio with a cup of coffee, and it was glorious). Our garden has exploded this year as we now have our entire very long patio ledge covered with flowers. We've planted basil from seeds that just sprouted and also a lemon tree.

Oh, and I will have to say that my 3rd passion of late has not been photography. For some reason, I have recently been unable to take a photo for the life of me!

Small Batch Cinnamon Raisin Biscotti
from One Smart Cookie
Makes 6 biscotti

1 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup, plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a large bowl, beat softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add in egg and vanilla until smooth.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add the flour mixture, along with the raisins to the egg mixture. Stir just until combined. The dough will be dry, so you may need to use your hands to combine as the dough comes together.
3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Shape the dough into an 8" long log. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray, and flatten the log to a rectangle about 3" wide.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until firm and starting to crack on top. Transfer the log to a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees.
5. Once cool, place the log on a cutting board and using a serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/2" - 3/4" slices. Place the slices cut side down on the cookie sheet.
6. Return to the oven for 15 minutes, then flip the cookies over and bake an additional 15 minutes.
7. (Optional): If you like your biscotti very crispy/hard, turn the oven temperature off and allow the biscotti to cool in the oven. (Thanks to my friends at the Cooking Light Board for this tip!)