Friday, January 14, 2011

To Biscotti, or not to Biscotti. Hmmm. TWO BISCOTTI!

Apparently my mind has yet to comprehend the word “diet”. I introduced myself to the word sometime around January 1, 2011. As of yet, I have not stopped baking. I do have an excuse, though, I promise.

See, about a year (or so) ago, I promised someone I work with that I would make them some special biscotti. I did. I promised. And then I never followed through. Shame on me.

Well, when I was trying to decide what kind of cookies to make for Steph Chows Cookie Exchange, the subject came up again. And then we had two snow days in a row. And I got a little crazy. And I baked. A lot.

I ended up making two different kinds of sweet biscotti (for my coffee lovin’ friends at work!), both of which were new varieties for me. I have a basic biscotti recipe and I usually just switch out the fruit or nuts for other ingredients, but in this case, I used all new recipes.

Branching out from blueberry, cherry, cranberry, and the like, I have turned to pineapple and mango!

I started with Piña Colada Biscotti, a blend of dried pineapple and shredded coconut, and then moved on to Island Biscotti, mixed with the flavors of coconut, mango, and macadamia nuts. Both were a big hit here at the office, but the Island Biscotti reign supreme by a vote of the tasters.

Island Biscotti
1 C dried mango
2 eggs
¾ C granulated sugar, plus extra for topping
½ C vegetable oil
2 T finely grated orange zest
1 t ground cinnamon
1 ½ t baking powder
1 t vanilla extract
½ t almond extract
¼ t salt
2 C flour, or as needed
1/2 C chopped macadamia nuts
1 C shredded coconut

Preheat an oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, the 3/4 c sugar, oil, orange zest, cinnamon, baking powder, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt. Whisk to blend. Add the four, nuts, coconut and fruit and stir until a dough forms. Turn out onto a heavily floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour if too sticky to work, about 20 turns. Divide the dough in half.

Form each half into a log 2 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the logs to an ungreased baking sheet (I like to use my Silpat sheets for this), spacing them well apart. Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar.

Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Leave the oven set at 350 F.

Using a spatula, carefully transfer the logs to a work surface. Using a serrated knife, cut on the diagonal into slices ½ inch thick. Return the slices cut-side down to the baking sheet. Bake until brown, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Piña Colada Biscotti
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
¾ cup dried pineapple, cut in small chunks

Preheat oven to 300°.

Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through nutmeg). Place sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until thick. Add flour mixture and coconut; stir to combine (dough will be very sticky). Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface; knead lightly 7 or 8 times. Shape dough into a 15 x 3-inch roll. Place roll on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and pat to 1-inch thickness. Bake at 300° for 40 minutes or until roll is golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.

Cut roll into 20 (1/2-inch-thick) slices; stand slices upright on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

My partner over at Steph Chows Cookie Exchange can look forward to receiving some of these from me early next week!

1 comment:

stephchows said...

Mmmmm these sound delicious!!