Thursday, April 25, 2013

First Timer Biscotti

Biscotti is an interesting thing.     It's got the ingredients of a cookie.   Flour.  Sugar.  Chocolate.  Nuts.  But it's skinny.   And then it's baked to death so that it's a solid, crunchy, slice.  
The only think you can do with biscotti is dip it in coffee.   Or hot chocolate.   Then its inner cookie returns.   It gets soft again.   The chocolate starts to melt.   And all is right in the world again.  
I was compelled to look into the history of biscotti.    Hard skinny cookies didn't just happen by accident.    It's the Roman version of hardtack.   Something that was shelf-stable and could travel well.   Those Roman soldiers were hungry!   Biscotti, in Italian, can be translated as twice-baked (and sometimes just the word for cookie).
This recipe made shorter biscotti (4-6 inches long), not the really long ones you sometimes see at  coffee shops.    So you might as well have two.
What You Need
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons flax seed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup unsalted almonds
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
What You Do
Preheat oven to 350.   Put a silicone baking mat on your cookie sheet.
Combine flour, flax, baking soda and salt into a bowl.   Stir with a whisk. 
In a larger bowl, combine both sugars, egg whites and egg.  Beat with a mixer at high speed for 2 minutes.  Ad vanilla and mix well.   Add flour mix to egg mix and stir until combined.   Fold in almonds and chocolate.   This will be a dry dough.   Do not will be ok.  
Divide the dough into three portions and roll each portion into a log about 6 inches long.   Place each roll on the cookie sheet and then flatten until about 1 inch high.   Bake at 350 for 28 minutes until firm.    
Remove from baking sheet and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.   Place the rolls on a cutting board and cut diagonally into slices (the original recipe from Cooking Light said 30 slices 1/2inch thick, but I didn't get quite that many...must be because it was my first time).   
Place the slices cut side down (and up since both sides are cut after all) on a baking sheet.  Reduce heat to 325 and then bake for 7 minutes.   Flip each piece over and then bake another 7 minutes.    Let them cool.    Then dip them in your coffee.
When was the last time you looked into the history of a food?
Do you like biscotti, or would you rather just have a traditional cookie?

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