Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Biscotti!

I had every intention of snapping a new photo of the lovely finished biscotti, other than the self-promoting Diva pic, but the husband made short work of the cookies. There's nothing left but a few stale crumbs in the bottom of the cookie jar. Someone should really do something about that.

You've all been waiting patiently for the recipe, so without further ado I will present it today. This one's adapted from Julee Rosso's Fresh Start cookbook. I changed the flour, reduced the sugar, added some chocolate chips and decided to use macadamia nuts instead of hazelnuts. The choice is yours really, any and all combination of dried fruits and nuts will work here.

Cherry Chocolate Macadamia Nut Biscotti:
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 3 tbsp. orange juice
  • 4 tbsp. chilled, unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar*
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Combine the dried cherries and orange juice in a large, micro-wave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. The cherries will soften as they cool and most of the juice will be absorbed.

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees F and lightly spray a large, rimmed cookie sheet with vegetable oil spray.

In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the metal blade, combine the butter and sugar and process until well blended. Add the egg whites and process until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, pulsing until just combined. Transfer to a large bowl, drain the remaining liquid from the cherries and add the cherries, nuts and chocolate chips, stir until incorporated. Using your hands, form the mixture into a large ball, pressing together the ingredients as necessary. Divide the dough into thirds and form three long, flat logs - roughly 12 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the logs on the cookie sheet, spaced apart, and bake in the middle of a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes, until lightly browned. (As pictured above.)

Remove from the oven and transfer the logs to a cutting board. Allow them to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, cut the logs diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices. I'm not going to lie, this is a pain in the ass, there will be crumbs everywhere and you'll feel like the biscotti are crumbling. DO NOT PANIC, do not curse me out. Remain calm and proceed carefully, taking your time and pinching the biscotti back together as necessary. Try not to burn yourself.

Return the sliced cookies to the cookie sheet and bake them, standing upright, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cut surfaces appear to be dry. Cool on wire racks and serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.

*The original recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar. Even though I've reduced the amount, the finished cookies are very sweet. A bit too sweet for me, but I think my palate is hyper sensitive when it comes to sugar. Feel free to play around with it and increase the sugar to a cup if you like. I've used the whole wheat pastry flour here, though the original calls for all-purpose white flour. Again, the choice is yours.

If you're looking for a more traditional, whole egg biscotti go here. This recipe is from 5second rule's cookie contest and I must say it looks spectacular. I've been meaning to try Diana's recipe since December!

You can't go wrong with either recipe and spelling something out with the finished biscotti is entirely optional.

So, what combination of fruits and nuts would you include in your biscotti? Curious Diva wants to know.

Bon appetit!

13 comments:

Tracy said...

Yum... I've been waiting for this post for what feels like forever, Diva! I've wanted to make biscotti for the longest time but since I can not drink coffee at the moment (and therefore have nothing to dunk my cookies in) I haven't gotten around to it. I will live vicariously through you in the meantime :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

I know, I'm sorry for keeping you waiting, Tracy! These last two weeks have been absolutely crazy ... and the madness continues. I'm seeing myself coming and going!

As for the coffee, or lack thereof, what about herbal tea? I've forgotten ... when are you due? :)

Cookie Brochette said...

Diva, it looks divine! I'm impressed with how much your recipe makes. Wow! How on earth would I get that much dough baked in one day?

For my biscotti, I think I'd throw in a few almonds and a few cranberries. (And I mean, just a few!)

Love, Cookie B.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Dearest Cookie - yeah, I'm thinking 4 chocolate chips and three cherries MAX for you! Otherwise you'll be slaving at that lightbulb for at least a week. Happy baking, you delicious thing, you!

Tracy said...

Diva, I've been drinking peppermint tea til it's coming out of my ears but it just doesn't hit the spot like coffee does. I am due May 9th... just 8 weeks to go!

The Duo Dishes said...

We have been waiting a while for this! Everytime we see biscotti recipes, we are tempted to try one. Mmmmm...

Jennifer said...

DAmn it. It is 925 and now I need some biscotti and coffee....i will be a cranky diva tomorrow

Juliet said...

Whoa those look so good!! No wonder it is all gone.. :) I love biscotti with almonds. :)

JAMJARSUPERSTAR said...

Biscotti? Hmm.... can you make them with raisins, nuts and chocolate? You know, like fruit and nut?

Mmmm.... biscuits... Must go down and grab and chocolate digestive now. Your blog always makes me hungry!
Ciao

Scarlet x

stephchows said...

I love that you used cherries and chocolate in these! Totally need to print this out!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Tracy - wow, 8 weeks! That's soon! :) I'm not a coffee drinker, but would have a hard time giving up my strong, dark tea in the morning. Yikes.

Duo - you guys should def. try some form of biscotti. The link I gave in this post has a more traditional recipe, which might be a good option for a first try. They're really delicious and worth the effort.

Jennifer - I really should have sent some to both you and Tangled Noodle for your efforts. Next time! I don't want you to be a cranky Diva. :) LOL

Juliet - almonds would be great in this recipe too. So yummy! I went with the macs because I had some that needed to be used.

Scarlet - I love, love, love digestive biscuits, either with chocolate or without. So good! You could certainly use raisins, nuts and chocolate in this recipe. Just like the yummy fruit and nut bar.

Step - they'd be just as good with some dried cranberries and chocolate too ... but who can resist the cherries? :)

Deb said...

This is very similar to the Ellie Krieger recipe which I have made and you are so right - they are amazing but the second baking is a pain in the ass to prepare for. Those biscotti just want to fall apart but I love eating all those yummy crumbs! I'm always lucky if I still havesome left to bake again! LOL
Deb

The Diva on a Diet said...

Deb - I'm kind of glad to hear I'm not the only one who has issues with the wanting-to-crumble biscotti. You're so right about those tasty crumbs though. Super yummy!