Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Bite of Biscotti

I think some of the quintessential Christmas cookies out there are biscotti. Thinking about it, it really does make sense: you can make them well ahead of time, they never really go stale (come on, they’re cookie croutons after all), can be jazzed up a gazillion different ways and make great gift-basket or cookie swap additions. And really, you can dunk them in pretty much any hot beverage – I’ve made apple butter biscotti that went great in hot apple cider, for instance, and there’s even brands of them for sale that specify that their perfect pairing is tea. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the standard espresso dunk either, but I have to say my favourite combination was chocolate-malt cookies that I had with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

I do go through phases with my Christmas cookie baking, I’ve noticed – this year it seems to be that I’ve done a lot of fruity mixes, and with luck I’ll get them all posted before the 25th! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a few chocolatey goodies on the dial too, but in general I think maybe this whole nutrition thing is wearing off on me. Thankfully, it’s not rubbing off too much, because if I was to take everything we were taught as the be-all-end-all gospel truth, I don’t think I’d even be breathing, let alone driving home in my gas-powered car, firing up my electric oven and making something that just *might* involve non-organic, shipped goods and sugar. Moderation, I say. And when better to test the boundaries of this “moderation” concept than at Christmastime?

Of course, I say this not to steer anyone off the track to better health – but there is a reason why nutritionists, weight loss clubs and gyms are raking it in come the New Year! I guess you can say all these goodies are a bit of job insurance for me!

Coconut-Pineapple Biscotti
Makes 24
2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup coconut flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ginger
¼ cup cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
6 tbsp canola oil
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 ¾ cups diced candied pineapple

  1. Preheat oven to 375, place the rack in the upper third of the oven.
  2. Mix the flours, baking powder, sea salt and ginger in a medium bowl.
  3. Separately, beat together the cornstarch and cold water, then add oil, sugar, egg and egg white.
  4. Add the dry ingredients, coconut and pineapple and beat until well incorporated.
  5. With wet hands, shape into 2 logs, flattening slightly, and place on a lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes in the upper third of the oven.
  7. Reposition the oven rack to the middle position.
  8. With a sharp serrated knife, cut into 1/2" wide slices.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake 5 to 7 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 199.0
Total Fat: 5.4 g
Cholesterol: 8.9 mg
Sodium: 15.4 mg
Total Carbs: 35.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
Protein: 2.9 g


These ones are great dunked in hot cocoa - especially if you make it with almond milk to play off the nuts "hidden" inside. They're even vegan!

Jewelled Double - Chocolate Biscotti
Makes 22
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/3 cup warm almond milk
2 cups flour
¼ cup ground almonds
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 ¼ cups candied cherries, chopped
½ cup dairy-free white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375, place the rack in the upper third of the oven.
  2. Whisk together the flaxseed and warm almond milk, set aside.
  3. Mix the flour, almonds, cocoa, coffee powder, baking powder, sea salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  4. Separately, beat together the oil, sugars and flaxseed slurry.
  5. Add the dry ingredients, cherries and white chocolate and beat until well incorporated.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 balls.
  7. With floured hands, shape each ball into a log, flattening slightly, and place on a lined cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes in the upper third of the oven.
  9. Reposition the oven rack to the middle position.
  10. With a sharp serrated knife, cut each log into ½" wide slices.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake 10 minutes more.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 168.8
Total Fat: 4.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.5 mg
Sodium: 16.9 mg
Total Carbs: 31.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 2.3 g

2 comments :

David T. Macknet said...

Oooh! Both of those sound yummy! Thanks!

Carole said...

Hi there. Food on Friday: Pineapple is open for entries. This looks like a neat one! I do hope you link it in. This is the link . Cheers