Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m on vacation when I’m not. On those days, nothing is better than making breakfast an extra luxurious affair.
One of my favorite morning indulgences is biscotti. I have been a major addict of these elegant cookies for almost a decade, since my best friend (whose father happens to be an incredible baker of all things Italian) left me in a closed room with a bag of her dad’s fresh biscotti. Suffice to say, when she returned, the bag was empty and I was bouncing off the walls.
Though I have quite a fondness for sweets, I don’t do well when I start my day with a sugar high. In fact, as illustrated by the aforementioned incident, I don’t do well with too much sugar EVER.
But I do love my biscotti. What speaks of luxury more than biscotti?
In order to satisfy my morning sweet tooth without going **lls to the wall crazy before 11 AM, I decided to create a biscotti recipe that reduces the sugar content by about half but ups the breakfast-worthiness by about a million, without compromising the inherent deliciousness of these sweet treats.
I turned to my favorite recipe from the Tartine Bakery cookbook as a starting point, and then modified from there. The results were amazing. In order to preserve the dessert like quality of the biscotti and to (ahem…um…) boost the antioxidant level, I finished them off by dipping them in 72 percent dark chocolate.
- 1 cup of almonds, lightly toasted and chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. of almond extract
- 2 cups, plus 2 tbsp all purpose whole wheat baking flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 4 ounces of dark chocolate (for glaze)
Instructions for Biscotti:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Place almonds in a skillet and toast on low heat until just fragrant and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Coarsely chop the almonds and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy with a hand mixer. Slowly add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs and beat until mixture is smooth. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined. Using a spoon, stir in chopped nuts.
- On a lightly floured surface, dived the dough into two equal parts. Shape each portion into a log about the length of your prepared baking sheet and about 2 inches in diameter. Set the logs on a baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
- Bake the logs until they are set to the touch and lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes. Let the rolls cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board and cut on the diagonal into slices about 2 1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Return the slices cut side down to the baking sheet. Bake the cookies until the edges are lightly toasted 7-10 minutes longer. Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Chocolate:
Bring 3/4 of a cup of water to boil in a small saucepan. Place your chocolate in a bowl that can withstand high heat. Reduce water to a simmer and place bowl directly into saucepan so that it is sitting above the water and in direct line with the rising heat. Stir continually until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and dip biscotti up to 1/2 it’s length into the chocolate. Place on cool plate or parchment paper and let cool.
Biscotti will keep in a tightly covered container at room temperature for several weeks. I hope this will allow you ample opportunity to treat yourself to a fake vacation at least once or twice.