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Biscotti is the perfect partner with a lovely cuppa. This is especially true after arriving home from a walk on a cold winter’s day.
“Beam me up biscotti.” — Unknown
I’ve been trying to come down off a Christmas sugar high after all the delightful holiday sweets. However, who am I trying to kid? The thoughts of not having any sugar at all is, well, mere wishful thinking. I have no willpower to cut it out completely and that’s OK. As long as there’s no overindulging, right? Yes, that’s what I thought, too! Thanks for the vote of confidence foodie friends.
The variety of biscotti flavours you can make is truly endless. It’s almost overwhelming when you first look. I have a great biscotti cookbook filled with all sorts of variations but you can find just as many, most likely more, online.
“Italian food is all about ingredients and it’s not fussy and it’s not fancy.” — Wolfgang Puck
Given the deliciousness of biscotti, it’s no surprise that it originated in the Tuscan region of Italy. An article on biscotti history on “The Nibble” says, “The word biscotto derives from “bis,” Latin for twice, and “coctum” or baked (which became “cotto,” or cooked). The Roman biscotti were more about convenience food for travellers rather than a pleasurable treat for leisurely diners. Unleavened, finger-shaped wafers were baked first to cook them, then a second time to completely dry them out, making them durable for travel and nourishment for the long journeys.”
The first step before I figure out what kind of biscotti I’m going to make is to look in the cupboard to see what ingredients I have on hand. It didn’t take long, cranberry pecan biscotti it is. Of course my intuition was screaming out all the yesses as it provides the taste buds with the most wonderful combination of sweet and salty.
Back to checking cupboards for ingredients, it is a good habit to get into to, to use up all the little bits and bobs lying around.
“Where there’s a whisk, there’s a way.” — Unknown
I’m typically not a lover of dried cranberries because I find them too chewy and they get stuck in my teeth. The solution? Simply chop the cranberries up into small bits before putting them into the mixture.
Biscotti is not hard to make, it just takes a little longer as it is baked twice. That’s what gives that yummy, crispy texture. How do you make biscotti? You’ll require a half cup of softened butter, one cup of brown sugar, two large eggs, two teaspoons of vanilla, two and a half cups of flour, three quarters of a tablespoon of baking powder, half a teaspoon of salt, half a cup of pecans and half a cup of dried cranberries.
First, preheat the oven to 350. In a mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar. Next, add the eggs and vanilla. Then, the flour, baking powder and salt. Once that’s combined, fold in the pecans and dried cranberries.
Using a baking sheet with parchment paper, mold two logs out of the dough. Imagine the shape you want the biscotti to be once cut. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Once done, take them out of the oven, turn the heat down to 300 and let them cool for 30 minutes.
Once cooled, cut the biscotti in about a half to one inch wide pieces and place back in the oven for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes is up, flip the biscotti pieces over to the other side and place them back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
That’s the final bake they’ll receive. Take them out of the oven and let cool before serving. Well, if you can wait.
“You can’t buy happiness but you can bake biscotti and that’s kind of the same thing. “ — Unknown
Biscotti can be a little hard to bite into, it’s similar to a gingersnap once dunked in your cuppa and it softens just enough to give a burst of flavours with every bite. Simply put, cranberry pecan biscotti is definitely fit to eat. Now, pre-heat your oven and put the kettle on!
Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Instagram: @erinsulley.