So I Married a Chef

Adventures in Baking Balanced with Exercise and Healthy Meals

Biscotti Insanity July 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — carly71722 @ 12:39 pm

So, a few things that I have become obsessed with in my absence from the blog world…

1. Breakfast of Fage 0% with fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, apricots, etc), a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of honey or agave, and a serving of granola. A side of coffee completes this AMAZING meal ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously, when I ride my bike home from the gym I am like salivating thinking about this bowl of amazingness.

2. Making things from scratch that I would normally buy. I figure that if I’m quitting my job and taking a huge salary cut I should stop splurging financially on things that I can easily make at home. In the past 6 months I have ordered from Mix My Granola numerous times. And although I absolutely LOVE their granola, it is definitely a splurge that I can make at home. Here was my first attempt – it came out awesome!!! ย This mix included a maple cinnamon granola (oats, kashi puffs, flax meal, maple syrup, cinnamon, a few more things I can’t remember!), dried cherries, almonds, walnuts, and pecans. It’s almost gone! I’ll definitely be making more in the next week. This stuff can get addicting, so as soon as it cools I portion it out to about a 1/4 cup breakfast serving (30-32 grams).

I’ve also made homemade Larabars which I roll into a ball and have dubbed “laraballs”. I made PB&J and Gingersnap so far. This week I’m also going to try to make Cashew Cookie and my own variation – Cranberry Pistachio. I rolled them into 22-24 gram balls, which is about half a Larabar. Every morning before I head to the gym I pop half a Larabar for fuel, so I made the balls to be already half the size to save me the time of dividing it. Better idea, right? Here is the PB&J variety.

My other staples that I have mentioned previously are hummus and nut butters. Joe has been making homemade bread loaves too! ย Oh, and homemade pretzels for the market – see below ๐Ÿ™‚

3. My final obsession brings me back to the title of my post… I have been making biscotti like CRAZY! A while back I made a Mexican Chocolate Biscotti, which I have tweaked and improved (adding butter makes biscotti taste so much better). This past week I made a gluten-free Lemon Pecan Biscotti that was posted by Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. It sold out so fast at the market! ย I swear more NON gluten-free customers bought it. So, I decided to try my hand at more biscotti this week so that the gluten-free variety would be available for my gluten-free shoppers. I will add, this biscotti was out of this world good! It was the first time I had baked with almond flour – and I would love to use it more if it wasn’t so darn expensive!

So, I decided to make 5 different types – Mexican Chocolate, Double Chocolate Hazelnut, Coconut Lime with Almonds, Apricot Almond, and Cranberry White Chocolate. They are all delicious! ย For the non-chocolate varieties, I started off using Dorie Greenspan’s “Lenox Almond Biscotti” and then changed/substituted from there to make it to my liking. I decided to do a biscotti tutorial as well. I used to think that biscotti would be hard to make, but definitely not! If you haven’t tried it yet, definitely do so ๐Ÿ™‚

On to the tutorial. I start EVERY recipe with some mise en place. This one took 3 bowls (not counting my egg cracking bowl)

Cranberries and White Chocolate

Dry ingredients – the yellow is cornmeal, which I’m finding gives the biscotti some really nice texture

Butter and Sugar – premixed

Silpat lined pan – I could go on for days raving about Silpat. GET ONE NOW! ย (or 2 or 3)

1. Cream the butter and sugar. Then add an egg and mix thoroughly again. Pretty much a standard for any biscotti recipe

2. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low to medium until just combined

**Note: the dough is pretty sticky**

3. Add in the mix-ins of choice, and fold in by hand.

4. Then, use your spatula to plop the sticky dough onto your silpat (or parchment) lined pan.

5. Huge important step – WASH YOUR HANDS and KEEP THEM WET! I have found that we hands make handling sticky dough SO much easier. Joe was awesome and took pictures of me shaping the dough into a log about 2 inches wide and about 12 inches long.

Ready to bake! Definitely don’t worry about the dough being smooth.

My oven is finicky, so I always rotate my pan 180 degrees halfway through baking. If I don’t, one half the pan will overcook. Here is the baked log!

Unfortunately Joe left for work, so I was on my own for the rest of the pictures.

6. When the log has cooled about 20-30 minutes, transfer it carefully to a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to slice into about 3/4 to 1 inch thick slices, return the slices to the pan, bake. Again, I turn my pan halfway through.

Let them cool on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack (sneaking a bite in the transfer) to cool completely. They should be firm to the touch, almost hard. They will harden more as they cool ๐Ÿ™‚

Seriously… biscotti is amazing and SO easy to make!

What flavor should I try next???

P.S. I’m so happy to be back to blogging!

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6 Responses to “Biscotti Insanity”

  1. Heather Says:

    Hey, Carly!!
    Those pretzels look amazing! YUM! I so need the recipe for those. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Do you use your silpat for cookies, too?

    • carly71722 Says:

      I actually got the recipe for the pretzels from recipezaar (which strangely just changed to food.com as I was looking up the recipe fore you)! Here’s the link:
      http://www.food.com/recipe/buddhas-soft-pretzels-252656

      My cookies and stuff I make up or adjust recipes, but I don’t mess with breads.
      And yes, I do use silpat for cookies – pretty much anything that I would have baked on parchment. The liners are kinda expensive (around $20 each), but with how much baking I do it has saved me a ton of money on parchment that I would have just thrown away. I do still use parchment for gluten-free stuff since the silpat is re-usable, I don’t want to risk contaminating my gluten-free goods.

  2. Mina Says:

    Those pretzels look amazing – so do your biscotti! I’d love to get into bread making. Do you think I could use whole wheat flour in the pretzel recipe? I know nothing about bread making, so I have no idea if I can subsitute flours like that.

    Mina

    PS – I meant to tell you that in the limited number of times I’ve seen you since you made your decision, you look much happier ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. hey carly! you won two tickets to the ABC Wine Dinner at greenhouse tavern over on my blog – email me your info at clevelandsaplum @ gmail.com and i’ll let chef sawyer know you’re coming! (it’s this thursday at 7pm, btw)

  4. DiningAndDishing Says:

    Homemade is always so much nicer than store bought anyway! Everything looks amazing :).

    – Beth @ http://www.DiningAndDishing.com

  5. Those biscotti look good!!! I don’t even really know what silpat is for, but I see them everywhere.


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