Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recipe Time ~ Biscotti

I never thought I liked biscotti. I always assumed it was dry, and I'm not a cookie dunker, so I wasn't really interested. But one of my cookbooks, called One Smart Cookie, by Julie Van Rosendaal, has a biscotti recipe that I decided to give a try. This cookbook, I should point out, is "All your favorite cookies, squares, brownies and biscotti . . . With Less Fat!" And I have to say, we enjoy everything I've made from this book, but the biscotti is probably my favorite.

There is only a small amount of butter, so it's really pared down already. But I've experimented and replaced half the sugar with Splenda, as well as whole wheat flour for part of the flour. It turns out crunchy and delicious every time!

Basic Biscotti
2 T. butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanila
2 cups flower
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
Anything else you'd like to mix in - we love butterscotch chips!*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
~In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture, along with any additions you may have, to the egg mixture. Stir just until combined. If it seems dry, use your hands to complete the mixing as the dough comes together.
~Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide in half and shape each piece into an 8" long log. Place the logs 2-3" apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, and flatten each into a rectangle that is about 3" wide.
~Bake for 20-25 minutes, until firm and starting to crack on top. Transfer logs to wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temp. to 275 degrees.
~Place logs on a cutting board, trim the ends and cut each log diagonally into 1/2"-3/4" slices with a sharp serrated knife. Place biscotti cut side down on the cookie sheet.
~Return them to the oven for 15 minutes, then flip the cookies over and bake for another 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

*You can get very creative with your "biscotti additions," or you can keep it simple and just thrown in some butterscotch chips (highly recommended!). But I've also tried adding the zest of one lemon, 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and some chopped dried cranberries. That's a good combo, too! Another idea in the book is to add slivered almonds, almond extract instead of vanilla, and chocolate chips.

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