Biscotti Baking

I’ve been wanting to give biscotti-making a try for a while now. There’s something very appealing about a homemade treat that you can make far in advance and freeze to have on hand to use as gifts. Also, I have a hunch the cookie’s Italian roots attracted me as well, since Kevin and I enjoy making big batches of limoncello keep in the freezer and use as gifts as well. (More on that recipe in a future post — it’s such good stuff!)

My first biscotti attempt was only semi-successful. I used an AllRecipes.com cinnamon sugar biscotti recipe and, though delicious, they weren’t nearly as crispy (a biscotti must, no?) as I’d hoped.

So when I saw a Martha Stewart recipe that included cornmeal and promised to give extra density and crunch, I was intrigued. I gave the recipe a try before Christmas (the red and green cranberry and pistachio combo just screamed “festive”) and was MUCH happier with the results of this recipe. So much so, in fact, that last night I made another batch to take along to Lake Burton, where Kevin and I will be spending the Martin Luther King holiday weekend with both our families.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  • Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and mix until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, until well combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture all at once; mix until just combined. Add lemon zest, cranberries, and pistachios and mix until combined.

  • Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I used a Silpat and that worked great as well). Pat into a log that is roughly 14 by 3 1/2 inches.
  • Bake until firm, lightly browned, and slightly cracked on top (30 to 35 minutes). Let cool on sheet on a wire rack, about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer log to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake cookies, rotating sheet halfway through, until they begin to brown at edges (15 to 18 minutes).

And the final result?
Biscotti success! (And they’ll keep for a week or two in an air-tight container, or can be frozen for future use. I have a hunch that this batch, however, won’t be making it beyond this coming weekend.)
What new recipes have you tried lately?

One Comment

  1. Melanie Killingsworth

    I have been thinking about baking biscotti for a while, and you’ve done half the work for me! Weeding through recipes is something all my roommates both enjoy and dread, depending. I’ve been trying to perfect a black bean burger. Many, many vegetables have been sacrificed in pursuit of that one.

    My latest recipe success:

    http://tendercrumb.blogspot.com/2010/08/zucchini-carrot-and-cranberry-muffins.html (exchange no-sugar-added applesauce for some or all of the oil for even more health).

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