I’m diligently working on the biscotti challenge. So far I’ve baked 63+ batches. The total number of recipes so far is 23; two short of my challenge of 25. I believe there will probably be more like 45 or 50 by the time I’m done; lots of ideas in the works yet.
There have been many interesting flavors and many suggestions from friends, some I thought would be impossible to replicate into a biscotti recipe, such as these Carrot Cake Biscotti. But this one turned out to be a great success.
I recently started working on savory recipes, a basil pesto and a sun-dried tomato pesto. This has proved challenging. The loss of sugar changes texture and the order in which ingredients are used effectively. I don’t use any fat in the sweet recipes other than two whole eggs, but savory includes more fat, like the oil and cheese in the pesto. The added fat makes for a softer texture.
Some people have asked what can you do with savory biscotti. Well, t makes a wonderful treat with an aperitif, or serve it as part of a charcuterie plate. I used the basil pesto crumbled over a fresh tomato gazpacho.
I’ve been fortunate to have lots of willing tasters. Getting feedback has been helpful and encouraging. Thanks so much tasters!!! It’s also important to get the cookies out of house. Sixty-three batches of 30 cookies each is a lot of cookies! Fortunately, they freeze well and I can stock some for future events.
One of my favorites is a Coconut-Almond Biscotti Dipped in Dark Chocolate. The inspiration came from the candy bar Almond Joy. Here’s the recipe:
Coconut Almond Biscotti Dipped in Dark Chocolate
Yield: ~30 Biscotti
1 large egg
3/4 cup whole almonds
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon coconut extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 3/4 cups , plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
7 ounces dark chocolate (85% cocoa), finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Beat one egg until frothy and set aside with a pastry brush.
Prepare a lined, large (~10” x 15”) baking sheet.
Spread the nuts across the prepared baking sheet and pop into the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set the nuts aside to cool. When cool to the touch slide onto a cutting board and run a knife through to give a rough chop.
Lightly grease the lined baking sheet and set aside.
Put the eggs, sugar, coconut almond and vanilla extracts and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl and beat on medium high until the mixture becomes thick and turns a pale yellow, about 2 minutes.
Add the flour and baking powder to the mixing bowl and beat on low, scraping the sides as needed. Once the flour mixture is moist, scrape the sides and beater once more and then toss in the almonds and coconut; mix on medium high for 15 seconds, the batter should look smooth.
Note: The cookie dough is sticky; use a bench scraper on the floured surface and flour your hands when forming the log to prevent sticking.
Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and press firmly to form a thick log. Roll the log back and forth, add bit of dusting flour as needed to prevent sticking, until the log is 18-inches long by 2 inches wide. Cut it in half and place both halves on the prepared baking sheet. Press the log to about a 3/4-inch thickness.
Brush the biscotti logs generously with the egg wash and place them in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the log is firm to the touch.
Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on a baking rack, to prevent sweating, for 15 minutes.
Use a very sharp, serrated knife to slice the cookies on an angle about 1/2-inch wide. Cutting the cookies on an angle and using a sawing motion as opposed to slicing down with pressure helps prevent the biscotti from breaking. Set each one on the baking tray with the flat side down. Return them to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool on a baking rack.
Melt 7 ounces of dark chocolate in a double boiler or microwave, stirring frequently. As soon as the chocolate is melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the last ounce of chocolate. Continue stirring until completely melted.
Dip the bottom of each biscotti into the melted chocolate about halfway up the sides and lay them on a lined cookie sheet to set. Once all the cookies are dipped, place the tray in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or until the chocolate is set.
Store in an airtight container. Cookies last two to three weeks and freeze well.