While at work-from-home last month, I enjoyed making yummy desserts with my niece for her home school baking classes. Everyone especially loves the butter cookies we made because of the copious amount of butter and sugars (with calories!) that we loaded into the dough. While it’s an enjoyable treat to have occasionally, it’s just too guilt-inducing to be a regular afternoon snack.
That’s why I decided to try making another more “healthy” alternative. The Biscotti is a traditional Italian pastry that has less butter (or even no butter) and sugar. The name Biscotti means “baked twice”, which refers to how the cookies are made.
In my first attempt at baking Biscotti, the appearance was as good as I expected but the texture was a bit too dry. This is probably because I replaced the mixed nuts with walnuts and used cranberries instead of oranges. I also didn’t add too much sugar which changed the outcome. So from this experience, I can say: Don’t try to create your own recipe on the first try:)
¼ cup light olive oil
¾ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup dried cranberries
1 ½ cups pistachio nuts
Step 1 Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Step 2 In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extract, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
Step 3 Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.
Step 4 Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
Step 5 Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.
Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
If the dough is too sticky to handle after the wet ingredients have been added, then too much moisture is in the dough. Knead in a small amount of flour until the dough can be handled.
This dough is a blank canvas to flavor with different extracts or to add mix-ins. Mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit can all be added to this dough.
The key to making biscotti that aren’t so crispy you feel like you’re going to break a tooth is to not bake them too long during the second bake. Pull them out of the oven when the outside feels toasted, but the cookie still has a bit of give when you press down on it.
Allow the dough to cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to 1 month. The flavor gets better with time!
I’ve relocated to Thailand, the land of smile and super spicy food, from Taiwan since 2018 to join DET Marketing team. Prior to joining DET, I was with IABG team in Delta Taiwan. My years in Delta have taught me the values of hard work and time management. These have helped me tremendously to juggle between work and my first born. If you want to know anything about Delta branding direction and trade events in the SEA+ region, feel free to email me.