A Tale of 2 Biscotti

Coconut almond biscotti

I have never met Sam Sifton, food editor of the New York Times, but he and I have something in common. That is, besides our passion for cooking and sharing recipes.

A while ago, Mr. Sifton talked fondly about his “relationship” with his old stove. I know exactly how he feels, since the stove I have is an older, electric stove with coiled burners. Like Mr. Sifton, I’m awfully fond of my old stove, too.

I have learned how to work with its quirks, especially when it comes to cookies like biscotti. 

Biscotti means “twice baked” and the cookies do indeed go into oven twice. The first time they are baked in loaves. The second baking is after you cut the loaves into diagonal slices. That process is what gives biscotti their crisp texture. I always have to watch the second baking closely to prevent the biscotti from baking too long and getting too hard.

I’m sharing a lovely, crisp biscotti with both coconut and almonds. Neither flavor dominates. They are even better the next day or so after they’re baked. Biscotti are great dipping cookies with a mug of hot tea or coffee.

Now biscotti can be either sweet, or savory. 

If you’re adventurous and would like a savory biscotti flavored with Parmesan and peppercorns, check out my site for that recipe. Swap savory biscotti for bread alongside stew or soup. The Parmesan biscotti is yummy as an appetizer, as well, served with a crock of soft, herbed butter.  

Coconut almond biscotti

Ingredients

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped coarsely, or toasted sliced almonds

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1-1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons), melted and cooled a bit

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, coconut, nuts, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, butter and extracts. 

Add egg mixture to flour mixture and beat until blended well.

Divide dough into 2 pieces. If it’s sticky, dust hands lightly with flour and shape each piece into an 8” long loaf, 2-3” wide, and about 3/4” high or a little less.

Place loaves on baking sheet several inches apart. 

Bake 26-28 minutes, until golden and set.

Cool for 10 minutes, the, using serrated knife, slice each loaf on the diagonal into 1/2” tick slices.

Place these on their sides, flat side down, back on baking sheets.

Bake 15-20 minutes until firm and golden.
Cool and store, covered, room temperature, up to 2 weeks. 

Makes about 24.

Parmesan & black pepper biscotti

Ingredients

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black peppercorns

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1-1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut up into small pieces

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. 

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put flour, baking powder, salt, garlic, 1 cup cheese and 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper in food processor. Pulse to blend.

Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. You should still see a few pieces of butter in the mixture.

Remove 2 tablespoons from the beaten eggs, set aside. You’ll use the 2 tablespoons to brush tops of biscotti.

Whisk remaining beaten egg and milk together. Pour into food processor on top of flour mixture.

Pulse until dough forms a ball. It will be soft.

Divide dough into 2 pieces. Place on baking sheets several inches apart. 

Dust your hands with flour and form each piece into a 10-12” long, about 2” wide and 1/2” high. 

Brush with reserved beaten egg.
Sprinkle tops with rest of cheese and pepper. 

Bake 25-30 minutes or so until golden and set.

Cool for 10 minutes and reduce temperature to 325.

Using serrated knife, slice each loaf on the diagonal into 1/3” thick slices.

Place these on their sides, flat side down, back on baking sheets.

Bake, turning over once, until very golden and crisp, about 25-30 minutes or so. Watch during last 5-10 minutes to make sure they’re not getting too brown.

Cool and store, covered, at room temperature up to 2 weeks

Makes 3-4 dozen.

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