Thursday, October 23, 2008

Double Cinnamon Double Pecan Biscotti

When I think of biscotti, these are what I think of. These biscotti are the ones that I fell in love with. Before these, I always went for chocolate or cookies at a coffee shop, so I never had the bad memories of stale, hard Starbucks biscotti to turn me away from this cookie. I feel lucky, since a number of TWD'ers had long-standing hatreds of biscotti. Getting over a food dislike is hard. I should know, I'm gradually introducing fruit and vegetables into the boyfriend's diet :)

Even better, I can pretend that these are healthy - hey mom, they're whole wheat! 100% whole grain, healthy nuts, what more do you want in a healthy cookie? Well, probably not 3/4 of a stick of butter and cinnamon sugar on top, but whatever. Stop being so picky! They're easy too - just make sure the butter is at room temperature and you can whip them up in no time. I've never made them according to the original directions, and I never make them the same. Cinnamon chips (in the original recipe) have never been in my pantry, I change up the type and quantity of nuts, and once (just once!) I left off the cinnamon sugar topping. Don't do that. Seriously. They're sooo much better with it on top.

They are also much easier to shape than Dorie's almond biscotti. Not as soft, but nice and hefty instead. Nor do they spread like the black plague, engulfing all in their path. These are well-behaved biscotti, thank you very much. Oh, and King Arthur Flour has my undying gratitude for alerting me to the best way to shape biscotti - with wet hands! Nothing sticks, and if it does, just run your hands under the faucet really quickly. It also gives plenty of moisture for the cinnamon sugar to adhere to, doncha know.

This is one cookie I have to make in half batches though. If I didn't, I'd turn into Biscotti Monster, which is not nearly as cute as Cookie Monster. Not blue, not funny, and probably the side of a double-wide. Yikes! Luckily, in half batches, I get my biscotti fix quite nicely. Oh yeah, and these are a more dunkable biscotti too, probably due to the stiffer dough and longer baking time. Perfect with coffee, if I do say so myself.

PS - To all the anal bakers out there, yes, this is a recipe where I haul the ruler out. Keeping the logs equally sized and shaped leads to more even baking and nicer looking biscotti.

Sugar High Fridays

PPS - These are speeding to Anita at Dessert First, who's hosting this month's Sugar High Friday - Spices! Come on and play along, it's the perfect time of year for some spicy sweet treats!

Double Cinnamon-Pecan Biscotti (adapted from King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
cinnamon sugar for topping

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

To Prepare the Dough: Beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Bea in the baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl. Add the flour and oats to the batter. Stir in the pecans.

To Shape the Dough: Scrape half the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Wet your fingers, and pat the dough into a smooth log about 12 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Make the logs as smooth and even as possible: this will yield the most uniform cookies. Spritz the top of each log with water, and sprinkle heavily with cinnamon sugar.

To Bake the Biscotti: Bake the logs for 35 minutes, and remove them from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325F. After 10 minutes, spritz the logs lightly with water. Let them rest for 10 minutes, then use a serrated knife to cut them into crosswise slices, 3/4 inch thick. This wil yield mini biscotti about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long. Cut on the diagonal, if desired, to make longer biscotti. The logs have a tendency to crumble, particularly at the edges. Use a serrated knife to carefully cut them as slowly and gently as necessary. Starting at the far edge, rather than on the top of the log, seems to be most effective.

Arrange the slices, upright, on the baking sheet. Return the baking sheet to the oven, and bake until the biscotti are golden brown, 25 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let cool right on the pan.

Makes about 36 biscotti (the original recipe says 38, but I always end up with 36)


The Food Librarian said...

Yummy! I'm glad didn't end up with the black plague biscotti! :)

Marie said...

I am late getting around to all my favourites this week because of my work comittments! KInd of good in a way coz now I am getting to see your lovely biscotti as well as your cute lil muffins! I have the same King Arthur baking book. I don't know why I didn't notice this recipe before! Yummo!!

Di said...

These biscotti look delicious. I recently borrowed that cookbook from the library. I didn't read all the way through it, but I read enough to realize that I need to add it to my wishlist. Christmas is coming... =)

rainbowbrown said...

How wonderful! I love me my whole wheat flour you know. I will be baking and dunking and eating in no time...

Steph said...

Baked goods from Starbucks are always overrated in my opinion. Isn't it weird how until you start baking yourself, you don't even think about the quality of the stuff you're eating. Actually, your biscotti does seem pretty healthy.. 6 tablespoons of butter doesn't seem too much.. right?! plus the whole wheat flour totally cancels it all out.. hahah

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Caitlin these look excellent. I share your excitement over biscotti and especially the double shot of cinnamon they are just the best!
I really love the idea of the whole wheat flour and oats! I'm going to take a look at this and the recipe I've been using with canola oil.
Did you use regular or the white whole wheat flour?

Pamela said...

These just look simply amazing. The cinnamon sugar on top is probably the best, huh?

Cathy said...

These look amazing! I have a new love of biscotti after making Dorie's almond ones, and I am eager to try out some new ones. "Don't leave off the cinnamon sugar" -- those are words to live by, for sure.

BTW, I tagged you for an award; you can pick it up (if you are interested) towards the end of my (insufferably long, I just can't help myself) Cooking Light Night post. I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

These look terrific! Quite different method from Dorie's. I think I like it better. They're perfect!

Isa said...

They are healthy enough for me! Now, can I have some please? ahah. they look delicious. great entry for shf =D

Cristine said...

Delicious! I have a few bags of cinnamon chips...I'll have to give these a try!

n.o.e said...

These look fab, I'm such a sucker for the whole grains. I'll have to check out that cookbook as well, but I need a new one like I need a hole in the head. That double-wide specter is what keeps me heading to the gym now that I've joined TWD!

Fit Chick said...

Your biscotti are wonderful! I use a ruler to draw the outline on my parchment paper so they are exact, LOL. Dad was an engineer.

Jude said...

Nice.. Since it's double double, I already know I'm going to like this.

Eva said...

I've recently made biscottis for the first time (so far I had never thought much of them) but now I really like them and yours will be the next recipe to try! I love your cinnamon, sugar, pecan combo!