May 17, 2011
The Italy issue of Bon Appetit was splendid. I’ve bookmarked about a dozen recipes and already made Pasta al Pomodoro twice. Now I know how to make a smooth and silky pasta sauce :)
From this BA issue, I also learned that making biscotti is a doable task. Biscotti are one of my favourite Italian sweet treats, but I’ve never thought of making them at home. I thought I would need tons of almond flour or other ingredients that I would have to hunt for all around the city, while all I needed was a dash of almond extract. And almonds :) The BA recipe called for dried cherries and pistachios, but I opted for dried cranberries and almonds instead, because the pistachios they are selling here at the moment look ugly.
Surprisingly, my own biscotti looked and tasted quite similar to what I usually get as a gift for Christmas and Easter! The blend of almond, citrus zest, and cranberry flavours was divine! The only thing I did wrong was slightly over-bake them. They looked too moist all of the time, and then suddenly oups! they got over-baked. Next time I bake biscotti I will remove them from the oven while they still retain moistness, for they will harden as they cool. I’d like to try to make them with AP flour next time as well. I couldn’t find unbleached flour so I used 3/4 AP flour and 1/4 whole wheat flour, which tinted the biscotti golden brown. I guess with 100% AP flour, they would have been even crispier and airier. But anyway. I’m very content with this recipe, that’s why I’m sharing it with you (with my tweakings), even though it’s not Eastern European :)
Almond Cranberry Biscotti
Adapted from Karen DeMasco’s Pistachio and Dried-Cherry Biscotti in Bon Appetit Italy Issue
1 1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 large eggs
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp orange zest
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup dried cranberries, rinsed
1 cup unsalted almonds
makes about 4 dozen
Preheat oven to 180C.
In a large bowl, combine and mix first 8 ingredients.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients.
Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in cranberries and almonds.
Transfer dough to a floured surface; divide in half. Shape each dough half into a 16″ long log. Transfer logs to prepared baking sheet and slightly flatten each log.
Bake, rotating, sheet halfway through, until set, about 30 minutes.
Let cool for 15 minutes.
Reduce oven to 120C. Transfer biscotti to a work surface. Using a serrated knife, cut each log into 1/3″ thick slices. Arrange slices on baking sheets (you will need an additional sheet here).
Bake biscotti, rotating sheets halfway through, until crisp, about 40 minutes.
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