Spiced Biscotti

December 9, 2009  • 

 

A few days ago,  I stopped by  Wholefoods   to fetch something and a smiling lady came up to me with a tray and offered me a very thin biscotti with a smidgeon of blue cheese on top. The biscotti was thin and hard, sweet, studded with almonds and raisins; the sweet cookie was a great vehicle for showcasing the distinct bleu cheese flavor of the cheese. I thought: HAH!!! I can do that!

So I did. Except mine is not hard. It is very crunchy but delicate, almost brittle. More flavorful too, because it has white pepper in it and other spices. Light, also, without oil or butter.


This recipe is my own. I took a basic recipe from Cook’s magazine, circa 1994, and tweaked it to death, trying different versions a hundred times (at least!). This is the final version and my favorite.

INGREDIENTS: Quantity will yield about 40 biscottis

  • 3 large eggs (2 ounces each)
  • 1 cup ofcornstarchand 1 1/4 cup (keep about 1/4 cup more for later) bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of ammonium powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • SPICES: 1 to 2  teaspoons  ground white pepper (depending on whether you want the taste to be faint or assertive), 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, a pinch of ground ginger, 1  teaspoon of vanilla extract or any brandy (you can use the brandy from the raisins)
  • 6 ounces of almonds ( I like to peel them and toast them but this step can be skipped)
  • 6 ounces of raisins, macerated for one hour or longer in a few tablespoons of brandy of your choice (I used a creme de cassis liqueur)

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METHOD:

  1. Place the flour and all the other dry ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wire whisk.
  2. Set a large mixing bowl over a pan of almost simmering water. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl and stirring constantly, heat the eggs to lukewarm. Now beat the eggs until tripled in volume. I used a hand beater, so that I could beat the eggs while the bowl was on top of the (almost) simmering water.
  3. When the egg mixture is pale and all puffed up, remove the bowl and place on a flat surface.
  4. Add the flour and spice mixture through a sifter, little by little, to the egg mixture, folding it in with the wire whisk gently so as not to deflate the eggs too much.
  5. Add the almonds and drained raisins with a teaspoon of the  macerating liquid.
  6. Form the dough into two logs, by shaping them with floured hands onto the parchment-lined sheet.
  7. Bake at 350F (180C) for about 30 minutes until golden and puffed up.
  8. Cool for half an hour. Cut in thin slices with a serrated knife. Place on the cookie sheet side by side and bake again in a 200F oven for about 45 minutes or until the biscottis  are totally dry.
  9. Serve as is, or with a smidgeon of creamy bleu  cheese. Keep in a metal box for a couple of weeks.

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Comments

12 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    Mmmhhh, they must be exquisite! Lovely biscotti!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipe says:

    These biscotti look and sound very good and festive to me with so many different kinds of spices!

  3. cuisineplurielle says:

    I love biscotti and spices, so…

  4. Doria says:

    Tes Biscottis Sont effectivement très nageoires et delicats. Avec une bonne tasse Comme tu le suggéré, j’en imagine très bien Leur goût Qui Doit être délicat en bouche.
    C’est une belle recette!
    Je te remercie beaucoup D’avoir pensé à moi pour le prix.
    Bisous, Doria

  5. SE says:

    hey Joumana…this is going to my high of my priority list..will let you know how it comes!!

  6. HistoryOf GreekFood says:

    I love pepper in sweet baked goods. I shall try your biscotti soon!

  7. Tania says:

    I love spices and almonds, those biscotti are delicious!

  8. rebecca says:

    wow great biscotti can i have a piece

  9. Bethany says:

    Now I’ve been thinking about trying my hands at them. They do look great. As soon as I have some free time I’ll be trying this! Great presentation!

  10. Ivy says:

    They sound perfect. At the beginning I thought that the blue cheese went in the biscotti. I would have never thought to add white pepper in the biscotti.

  11. Samira says:

    J’aime beaucoup!!!!

  12. Teresa says:

    I love biscotti! Like a slice of heaven with a good cup of coffee! But I’ve never heard of a whole cup of cornstarch being used in a recipe, let alone white pepper in a sweet treat. You can be sure I will put this one to the test real soon! They look delicious! Let you know how it goes!

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