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The Deviant Baker: The Best Quick and Easy Biscotti that Won’t Break Your Teeth

by catchafrisbie 20 days ago in recipe

Incident One: Biscotti

Courtesy of catchafrisbie

If you like to improvise, experiment, or find it difficult to follow a recipe—the Deviant Baker is the place for you, where deviating is creating.

Have you ever hurt your teeth biting a biscotti? Why are some of them so hard? I had never given a lot of thought to what goes into a biscotti or how they were made; I presumed it was as hard as the biscotti itself. However, one Saturday evening, I decided I wanted a late-night snack. I searched for something quick and easy and stumbled upon a biscotti recipe. I read through the instructions and was surprised by how simple they seemed.

After reviewing several more recipes, I decided to attempt to make Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti by Bake. Eat. Repeat. I chose this recipe because it incorporated butter and I had all of the ingredients except an orange. While traditional recipes do not contain oil or butter; including oil or butter makes biscotti softer. My late-night endeavor was a success. The cranberry pistachio biscotti were soft enough to bite, easy, and delicious.

A few weeks later, I decided to make the cranberry pistachio biscotti again and attempt a traditional biscotti. However, as always, I did not quite follow the recipe—because deviating is a part of creating. Below are the recipes with my deviations.

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

(original by Bake. Eat. Repeat, deviations by me)

This biscotti is soft enough to be eaten by itself or may be paired with tea (I like Tazo Wild Sweet Orange tea).

Courtesy of catchafrisbie

Here are the ingredients you will need:

Dairy:

  • ½ cup butter softened (salted or unsalted)
  • 2 large eggs

Produce:

  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (optional)

Baking:

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped white or milk chocolate (optional)

Other:

  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup pistachios

Instructions (and deviations):

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I used my stand mixer. The original recipe calls for unsalted butter. I used salted butter the first time and unsalted butter the second time and did not notice a difference. The butter should be softened; if you forget, cut the butter into small pieces before mixing.

3. Add the eggs, vanilla, and orange zest and mix until combined. The orange zest is optional. I did not have an orange the first time. The second time I included orange zest, but the difference was minimal.

4. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix until combined.

5. Add the cranberries and pistachios and mix until combined.

Courtesy of catchafrisbie

6. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

7. Divide the dough in half and with your hands press each half into approximately 8” x 4” and 1” high logs on the parchment paper. Keep the height uniform, so the biscotti bakes evenly.

8. Bake for 25 minutes then decrease the oven to 325 degrees F.

9. Remove the baking sheet and let cool for 6 minutes.

10. Then use a knife to slice the logs into individual biscotti about 3/4” thick.

11. Place the biscotti back onto the baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes at 325 F. The longer the biscotti bakes the harder the biscotti. I removed my biscotti from the oven after 10 minutes during the second bake for softer biscotti.

12. Cool biscotti to room temperature.

13. Optional. Melt chocolate in the microwave at 50% power for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the biscotti or dip into the biscotti in the chocolate (see dipping instructions below).

14. Store biscotti in an airtight container.

Traditional Italian Almond Biscotti

(original by Susan Russo, deviations by me)

This traditional Italian almond biscotti is best enjoyed with coffee. I found this one a bit too hard to bite into without dunking it.

Courtesy of catchafrisbie.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

Dairy:

  • 3 jumbo eggs (or 4 large eggs), plus 1 egg for coating

Produce:

  • 2 teaspoons orange zest

Baking:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Chocolate melting wafers (milk or dark chocolate)

Other:

  • 3 cups unsalted whole almonds

Instructions (and deviations):

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place almonds on the parchment paper and toast for 8-10 minutes. Check on them after 6 minutes and every two minutes thereafter, so the almonds do not burn.

Courtesy of catchafrisbie

3. Combine toasted almonds, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, and flour.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs. Blend in vanilla and orange zest. The original recipe inferred the ingredients were manually mixed; I used my stand mixer. I also erred and only added 3 large eggs, which made the mixture very crumbly and difficult to form. Using 4 large eggs will make it easier to form.

5. Mix the flour and egg mixture.

6. Divide the dough in half and with your hands press each half into approximately 8” x 4” and 1” high logs on the parchment paper. Keep the height uniform, so the biscotti bakes evenly. If the dough is too sticky, coat your hands in flour. I did not follow the original baking instructions; instead, I modified the instructions from the cranberry pistachio biscotti recipe (above).

7. Lightly beat an egg and coat the logs.

8. Bake for 30 minutes then decrease the oven to 325 degrees F.

9. Remove the baking sheet and let cool for 6 minutes.

10. Then use a knife to slice the logs into biscotti about 3/4” thick.

Courtesy of catchafrisbie

11. Place the biscotti back onto the baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees F.

12. Cool biscotti to room temperature.

13. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spread chocolate melting wafers on parchment paper and put the baking sheet in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the chocolate is smooth when stirred.

Courtesy of catchafrisbie

14. Dip biscotti in melted chocolate. Then transfer to a sheet of clean parchment paper and let sit until the chocolate has cooled.

15. Store biscotti in an airtight container.

A Reflection from The Deviant Baker:

Homemade biscotti make great gifts. Next time you are a dinner guest, attending a house warming party, or just because—bring along fresh biscotti.

Step 1. Purchase a pastry box and ribbon at your local craft store.

Step 2. Make biscotti (see instructions above).

Courtesy of catchafrisbie.

Step 3. Neatly arrange biscotti in a pastry box. If the box is not airtight, seal biscotti in a plastic bag before placing them in the box.

Courtesy of catchafrisbie

Step 4. Measure ribbon: pull the ribbon off the spool and loosely wrap it around the box. Then use scissors to cut the ribbon. Tie ribbon around the box and cut the ends with the scissors at a diagonal for crisp ends.

Courtesy of catchafrisbie.

Step 5: Gift your biscotti.

Easy, right? Hope you found that biscotti are not quite as hard as they seemed.

Until the next standard deviation,

The Deviant Baker

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