Justin Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook
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Best Biscotti By Far...
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 12:11 PM
- 4 cups (568 g) all-purpose flour (I love King Arthur flours)
- 1 cup chopped hazelnuts, pistachios, or almonds, toasted
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/3 (267 g) cups sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (olive oil is great)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 pkg Almond Paste (not marzipan, it's got less almonds and more sugar)
- 1 cup candied cherries (like for Christmas fruitcake) or dried cherries
- Extra sugar for sprinkling..regular is fine, but a large grained in better. I use demerara or turbinado.
- In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs until frothy; beat in the sugar, oil, lemon juice and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the almond paste at a slow speed to start then increase speed to incorporate. It won't completely blend in that's ok. Add the dry ingredients just until combined but be sure to fully blend. Stir in cherries.
- Divide dough in half. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, shape each portion into a 12-in. x 3-in. rectangle. Wetting your hands makes it easier to shape and smooth the loaves. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
- Carefully remove to wire racks; cool for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 300. Transfer biscotti to a cutting board and spray with a mist of water (this is a great hint for biscotti as it stops them from cracking); cut diagonally with a serrated knife into 3/4-in. slices. Place cut side down on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until firm. Turn and bake 10-20 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter - Omit the nuts. Add 3/4 cup cocoa to dry ingredients and use peanut butter chips instead of cherries.
- Beth's version - chopped dried apricots and dried Mont Morency cherries instead of the cherries and pistachios instead of the other nuts. This makes a gorgeous cookie with orange, red, and green pieces.
- Espresso Caramel (or coffee toffee) - Omit the nuts. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of instant espresso coffee to the dry ingredients and use toffee chips instead of cherries.
- Chocolate chip - Omit the nuts. Use mini chocolate chips (10-12 oz) instead of cherries.
- Lemon poppy seed - Double the lemon zest and the juice. Add 2-3 tablespoons of poppy seeds, or more if you prefer.
- Other - this is a very forgiving recipe. Add more or less of the nuts and cherries. Substitute whatever makes you happy!