Author Notes: Need something that holds up next to rich puddings in this week's contest theme? Biscotti are your perfect dippers! These complex cookies are sturdy but not rock hard, or all that traditional (no anise). Experiments with flour combinations in cookies led me to this twist on biscotti, which has a nice crumble from the whole wheat and cornmeal. Nut and dried fruit are your choice--apricot and hazelnut go nicely together for me. —Raquelita
Makes: about 2 dozen
tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp (2 oz)
cup white sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoons grated orange peel (use organic if possible)
cup toasted, skinned hazelnuts, chopped roughly
cups white flour (135g)
cup stone ground whole wheat flour (120g)
cup cornmeal (18g)
teaspoons baking powder
cup dried apricots, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
- In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar with wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth and light.
- Add in eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest, beat until combined.
- Stir in hazelnuts.
- Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl: flours, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Whisk a few times to completely combine. Add in chopped dried apricots and toss to coat with the dry ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir to combine, until it holds together as a dough.
- Use your hands to gather dough into a log about a foot long. Press it onto a buttered baking sheet to make it about 4 inches wide and 14 inches long.
- Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, or until the dough is puffed and firm, just starting to get golden brown on top.
- Transfer the log to a cutting board, when it is cool enough to handle.
- Using a large knife (a serrated bread knife or sharp chef's knife works well) and a gentle sawing motion, cut on a slight diagonal (working from short end to short end) to create 3/4-inch thick slices, about 20-24. Lay these on their cut sides on a baking sheet and put them back in the oven to toast.
- Flip each cookie after about 5 minutes, toast 5-10 minutes more. Your goal is a golden brown toast on both sides.
- Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack.
- Awesome optional step: dip half the cookie in melted tempered chocolate, let chocolate harden. This makes the cookies look really professional.