Friday, May 13, 2011

Macadamia studded Biscottis

Biscotti is simply my snacking staple. I don't know how else to put it. Never have I known such an amazing snack that doesn't make me guilty and get running to the nearest treadmill. I tasted one for the very first time when I was getting cranky in a nameless Airport cafeteria in Paris, during the flight layover. It totally appealed to my crunch-loving palate and the white chocolate (Purists, keep your mouth shut, I know white chocolate is not chocolate, but I'm making a point here! ) complemented the hazelnut like bread and butter. I remembered the taste well enough until I made my trip and returned back home.The making was the tricky part. I had to try a lot of recipes to get that authentic taste. But every biscotti I made had that eggy odor to it, which totally put me off. I had about 3 batches of various recipes I had tested, in airtight containers. About 2 weeks later, my son rummaged through the shelves, trying to find a snack, and stumbled upon the biscottis. He took one bite and had that "Mmmmmmm" look on his face, eyes closed et al! Yeah, he does a lot of that after sitting with me through a lot of cooking shows. :-)
And I got real curious and amidst the protests, snatched his, and took a bite. And yep, it was almost the same feeling I had in that Airport, that one piece of heaven, amidst all that jet lag and leg cramps.
And that's when it hit needs to sit and then it gets better. 
After that I have tweaked my recipe in different ways, to add variety and glamor, but the basic recipe is the same, if you take away the melted chocolate and macadamias.


   * 1/2 cup vegetable oil
   * 3 eggs (works fine with 4 egg whites)
   * 1 cup sugar
   * 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
   * 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
   * 1 tablespoon baking powder
   * 1 cup of macadamia/walnut/pecans


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and the flavoring until well blended. Combine the flour and baking powder, stir into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough. Divide dough into 2 pieces. Form each piece into a roll as long as your cookie
sheet. Place roll onto the prepared cookie sheet, and press down to 1/2-inch thickness. 
Using slightly wet hands, makes sure it doesn't turn sticky and messy. Once they are flattened out, stud the nuts on the dough in slight diagonal lines along vertically. Leave room for slicing between two studded lines.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. When the cookies are cool enough to handle, slice each 1 crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 6 to 10 minutes on each side. Cookie slices should be lightly toasted.

Optional; Dip in melted dark chocolate, and lay on wax paper until hardened.
Sugar can be substituted with splenda and eggs with egg whites. In fact eggwhites work better if you will eat them right away, since the yolky odor of the eggs in the biscottis take a day or two to go away.
Remember, Biscottis taste better after 2 days of baking. Enjoy!

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