Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Biscotti

For Mother's Day this year, I decided to make some treats that travel well. Biscotti came to mind as a treat that can stand a few days travel and come out in one piece. These came out really well, and I think the made the trip ok...

Coconut Pecan Biscotti
From Baking and Books

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick liner.
2. Combine the flour, coconut, pecans, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Use the flat beater attachment or a hand-held mixer to blend together briefly on low speed.
3. Using a fork, lightly beat together the eggs, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl. With the mixer speed on low, add to the dry ingredients and blend together thoroughly.
4. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Dust your hands lightly with flour and shape each piece of dough into a loaf about 8 inches long, 2 to 3 inches wide, and 3/4 inches high. Place both loaves on the baking sheet, leaving several inches of space between them. Bake the biscotti for 22 to 24 minutes, until the loaves are light golden and set. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
5. Using a serrated knife (I actually used my sharpest chef knife, since my serrated knife wasn’t slicing through the loaves so well), slice each loaf on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place these slices on their sides on the baking sheet. (To avoid breakage, after you slice a piece rest its weight on the blade of your knife instead of picking it up with your fingers. Slide the piece onto the baking sheet.) Place these slices on their sides on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until firm and golden colored. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer biscotti to racks to cool.

Variations: You can also drizzle the biscotti with thin lines of bittersweet, semisweet, milk or white chocolate after they are completely cool. Let the chocolate set for 15 minutes in the refrigerator before serving or storing.

Espresso Almond Biscotti
from About Professional Baking by Gail Sokol

31/2 cups AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons ground coffee beans
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
21/2 cups slivered almonds
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon egg wash

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, expresso powder, coffee beans, baking powder, baking soda, salt and almonds.
2. In another bowl, blend the sugars, zests, and the eggs until until slightly thickened.
3. Gradually add the oil, vanilla, and almond extracts.
4. Gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined.
5. Divide the dough in half and form each into a log 15 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Place logs on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. The logs will rise as they bake.
6. Brush each log with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
7. Bake the logs for 30-35 minutes until the tops look crackled.
8. Allow the logs to cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut the logs crosswise on the diagonal into 3/4 inch slices with a serrated knife. Place the slices cut side down on the pan.
9. Return the slices to the oven for 6-8 minutes on each side.
10. Optional - After the slices have cooled, turn them right side up on the pan. Drizzle some melted chocolate over the top decoratively.