That Shiksa Can Bake – Triscotti

For those that aren’t linguists (cunning or not), biscotti (Italian) and biscuit (good ole English) are both derived from from the Latin word biscoctum, which means twice cooked.  I love biscotti, and the harder and crunchier the better.  So why not go for the trifecta and bake it a third time?  After the second bake and 20 minutes of ‘resting’ on the wire rack, we put them back, rack and all, into the still warm oven.  Hypercrunch ensued!

I know this twice or thrice baking sounds like a lot of work and gymnastics to pull off, but it really wasn’t too bad.  Nik and I shouldn’t have procrastinated all those years before we made these puppies.  Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday and we are commuting challenged, we decided to make these sweet treats over the weekend and do something simpler for V-day.  Besides, we have plenty of date nights without Hallmark’s invented way to make some extra loot.  Sorry, no heart shaped or red velvet anything, but we did make two separate recipes because we were so damn indecisive.  Double chocolate or pistachio?  Why not both?

If you are only going to make one recipe, Nik and I agree: make the pistachio ones.  They still have chocolate chips, but also a healthy amount of lemon and orange zest to give ’em a nice unexpected zing and zip (three z’s for the win!  Pay me.)  Nicole thought the candied ginger in the chocolate biscotti was a bit overpowering, but I thought it was pretty good, just unexpected.

Sunday morning breakfast at the Jew household.  We started the day off pretty healthy.

Zesty Pistachio and chocolate chip biscotti

Ingredients:

Makes about 30 cookies, recipe very slightly adapted from Great Cookies by Carole Walter ( a great book BTW!)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (unsalted)
  • 2 tsp (or more) orange zest
  • 2 tsp (or more) lemon zest
  • 1 cup sugar (plus a little extra for sprinkling)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted
  • 3 oz chocolate chips (dark chocolate please)

Directions:

  • Mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.  Sift 3 times (why 3 is necessary vs. 2 is beyond me, but when baking we follow directions)
  • Using your mixer, cream the butter with zests until smooth (using the mixer’s paddle, silly)
  • Slowly add sugar while continuing to mix, also add 2 of the eggs, one at a time followed by the vanilla
  • Mix for about a minute or so, then add the sifted dry ingredients in 3 batches
  • Fold in the nuts and chips by hand, and chill (the dough) for an hour.
  • About 30 minutes in, preheat your oven to 350
  • Divide the dough into thirds, flour your board and roll into logs which are the length of your cookie sheet
  • Mix the last egg with a 2 tsp water and brush onto logs.  Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of sugar on top
  • Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until slightly browned
  • Remove pans and let cool for 5 minutes, also set the oven to 300
  • Using a dough scraper or something similar cut logs into 1/2 inch cookies.  Do it on a diagonal to make longer and fancier ones
  • Lay the cookies on their sides and bake at 300 for another 15 minutes.
  • Flip the cookies and bake for another 7-10 minutes
  • Remove, shut off oven and let the biscotti rest for 5 minutes
  • Put onto cooling racks, and put back into oven for 10 minutes (now you got triscotti!)
  • Remove racks, let cool, and start your crunching!

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My kingdom for a glass of milk!

Chocolate, ginger and almond biscotti

Ingredients:

Makes about 15-20 cookies, recipe from www.wholeliving.com; extraneous commentary by me
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  In a bowl, not on the counter.
  • In your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (you have one of these, right?), beat the snot out of the eggs and sugar until fluffy
  • Mix in oil and vanilla
  • On low, mix in the dry ingredients until combined
  • Fold in chocolate, nuts and ginger by hand
  • Divide the dough in half and roll into logs
  • Place onto cookie sheet lines with parchment
  • Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until set
  • Remove from oven, lower it to 325 and cool the logs for 10 minutes
  • Cut into 1/2 inch sections using your dough scraper
  • Bake at 325 for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10
  • Remove cookies, shut oven and let cool for 5 minutes
  • Transfer cookies to wire rack, and put into cooling oven for 5 or 10 minutes
  • Remove and cool at room temperature

Enjoy, maybe next time we’ll go for quadcotti. Octocotti anyone?