Thursday, October 21, 2010

Biscotti (be glad you can't hear my bad Italian accent from wherever you are...)

Turkey and I agree on one main fact of life: everything tastes better with nuts. In some way that I cannot possibly fathom, my Turkish roommate disagrees, and so we made these biscotti half with pistachios and half without.

I promise my next recipe will be something Turkish!! Maybe tea or sutlac...

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla (unfortunately they only have packets of vanilla sugar here..)

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
a dash of salt
Lots of nuts and dried fruit! We used:
- almost a cup of pistachios
- about half a cup of white raisins
- some cut up dried apricots (everywhere here)
Parchment paper and a baking sh

for some really nice ideas for combinations of fruits, nuts, flavors you can check out the bottom of this King Arthur's Flour recipe.

Preheat oven to 350 (or 177 celcius) and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the above ingredients into the two groups, wet and dry ingredients with wooden spoons. This is always the basic pattern in baking because you want to mix them as little as possible. By mixing dry and wet separately first, you make sure the ingredients are evenly combined without overmixing the final dough.

Fold in (read: stir together gently till combined) the nuts and berries.

Pour onto the parchment in a long, thin shape and wet your hands with cold water (you might have to keep wetting them as your work). Use your hands to shape the log into a 1/2 inch - 1 inch thick, long log shape. You really, really can't go wrong with this. When I was researching the recipe i saw all kinds of possible shapes.

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. It will start to brown around the edges. Let cool for 10-30 minutes and using a sharp knife, cut them into thin - about 1/2 inch - strips on the diagonal.

Bake again!! Some sites said lay them on their sides, others said try to leave them standing the way they were cut, but spread out a little bit. We did these laying down (as you can see) but i think they would get crispier if they were sitting up right because they could cook longer before they start to brown.

This time, bake them for about 25 minutes or until browning.

Cool completely. Store in a tin box. Look at that! I just happen to have a pretty tin box that they fit in PERFECTLY... It came as a "gift" with my favorite cookies a few weeks ago. Finding out it was perfect for these made me ALmost as happy as when I first got it. What could be better than a Turkish cookie tin box?! I found the answer. A Turkish cookie tin box with biscotti in it.

Final thoughts? A lot of websites made this look really intimidating and complicated. It is not. Just wet your fingers and play with the fun sticky dough.

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