Late Night Biscotti

These late night baking sessions are going to be the death of me…

Crunchy! … Sleepy…

Not really sure what brought on this particular urge. I think I saw a bunch of the containers of nuts in the cabinet, and given my partner’s very firm belief in expiration dates, thought it best to use everything sooner than later.

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tsp flavorings (to taste, some combination of vanilla and almond is traditional but by no means compulsory)
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1-2 cups of chunky stuff (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, what you may)

as pictured, about a cup and a half of slivered almonds, pistachios and a few dried cranberries. for the flavorings, a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. also, I used olive oil as we seem to have run out of anything else.

Steps

  1. preheat oven to 300º
  2. you’ll need a baking sheet with some parchment to line it
  3. beat the sugar, oil and flavorings together thoroughly.
  4. add the remaining dry ingredients and eggs, mix well.
  5. knead in the chunky stuff. I found the best way to get an even mixture is to take a page from the pottery methods and “stack and slam”. That is, press all the chunky stuff into the dough and flatten it out somewhat, tear the dough into two pieces and place one on top of the other and press it out again. tear in half, stack and press it out. after 3 or 4 repetitions of this, the chunky stuff should be pretty well evenly mixed in.
  6. divide the dough into 2 and roll each into a cylinder about 12″ long. (30cm) and place on baking sheet. you don’t have to pat it down any, the dough will sag a bit when it bakes.
  7. bake on a middle rack for 35-40 minutes. they should barely brown
  8. remove from oven and put the somewhat sagged logs onto a cooling rack for about 10 minutes to cool. they are still fairly moist, so they will cut without too much crumbling or other difficulties, though as they dry out it will get harder and harder. so don’t wait too long beyond 10 minutes.
  9. drop the oven temperature to 275º
  10. slice the cookie logs diagonally about 3/4″ thick. put the slices back on the parchment covered baking sheet, cut side up (or down as the case may be.)
  11. stick them back in the oven for another 9-10 minutes. this step is basically just to dry them out a bit and brown them slightly.
  12. put them back on the cooling rack to dry and cool thoroughly. they will get crunchier as the temperature drops.

at this point, some people might want to dip these in chocolate or something, but given that these are a cookie often dunked in coffee, I can’t imagine why you would want to waterproof them. I would advise resisting the temptation, they’re fine as they are, but you do you.

after the first baking.

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