Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A nutty biscotti and confessions about my microplane and me...

The cupboards were a bit bare today... the Cookie Cupboards!!! :) So I made a biscotti recipe that I developed last week, tweaking an ingredient or two in the quest of perfection. Although not perfect (really, what ever is?), this turned out to be an excellent biscotti.

Though certainly not a "health food", this biscotti contains wheat germ, dried cranberries, and nuts to make a very satisfying snack. There is an undertone of orange from the fresh orange peeo, and bits of chocolate give it additional richness.

* Exported from MasterCook *

"Kitchen Sink" Biscotti
(because it contains so many good things!)

Recipe By :Vicci
Serving Size : 24
Categories : cookies

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 2/3 cups Eagle Mills All-Purpose Unbleached "Ultragrain Blend" Flour -- or 1 cup all-purpose and 2/3 cup white whole wheat
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon grated fresh orange peel (this has been changed from 1/2 tsp. since my original post)
1/3 cup blanched almonds -- toasted, chopped
1/3 cup walnuts -- toasted, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries -- chopped w/ 1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325F

In a large bowl, stir together the flour through salt.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs until well combined then stir in the canola oil, water, and orange peel.

Using a heavy wooden spoon, mix the wet ingredients into the flour until almost combined. The dough will initially be rather dry. Stir in the nuts, cranberries, and chips. If necessary, coat your hands with flour to finish mixing completely. The dough will be sticky.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Pleace a small bowl of flour nearby-- you will want to flour your hands often to keep them from sticking to the logs.. Shape half of the dough into a flattened 3" x 10" log on the parchment. Shape the other half into a log beside the first log, leaving no less than 3" between them.

Bake for about 28 minutes or until logs are firm to the touch and bottoms are golden. Carefully remove from the parchment and cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes. Set the parchment-lined baking sheet aside. Keep the oven at 325F.

When the logs have cooled, cut diagonally (using an electric knife is easites, otherwise use a serrated knife) into 1/2" slices. Arrange slices, bottoms on parchment, on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely. Store in a container with a realtively loose lid (for crispy cookies) or a tight lid (for softer cookies) for up to 2 weeks. Freeze for longer storage.

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Per serving: 137 Calories (kcal); 4g Total Fat; (27% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 8mg Cholesterol; 60mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : Chopping the cranberries makes for easier slicing of the biscotti logs. Use a food processor and sprinkle the cranberries with a tablespoon of flour to keep them from sticking to the blade. It will take about 45 seconds, at a continuous speed, to chop the cranberries.

Toasting a quantity of a variety of nuts at once, and keeping them in heavy plastic bags in the freezer, will save a lot of prep time.

I admit it, I LOVE my microplane. Never have I used a kitchen tool that does its job so quickly and effectively. I use a lot of shredded peels (orange, lime, lemon) and grated ginger and garlic, and the microplane absolutely rocks! This orange, completely zested in less than one minute:

Because I only needed a half teaspoon for the biscotti, and 1/2 teaspoon for some macaroons that I also made today, I froze the rest of the orange zest for future use.


jenni said...

yum. i SO need to make these sometime soon! perhaps they would keep me from grabbing handfuls of coconut-creme hershey kisses. :-)

Kitchen Queen Victoria said...

Jenni, there isn't a cookie in the world that will keep you from those kisses (I bought a bag last week...) :)