Saturday, December 30, 2006

Baking snacks for a quick trip up north...

We drove up to Jeff's Mom's house on Thursday (hence the missing post yesterday) and drove back home this morning. I opted to cook dinner for her last night and ended up choosing the Lasagna Soup that we had liked so much before. So simple, yet so delicious - I served it with a light salad of mixed greens, a reduced apple cider vinaigrette, shavings of a sharp cheddar cheese, fresh pears and candied spicy walnuts (I'll post about these later... we could not stop eating these nuts).

Before we left, we wanted to bring something to snack on for the long drive up to PA - Jeff suggested we do a biscotti since we knew his Mom would like that. I looked through what is quickly be coming a trusty new cookbook, King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking, and picked out a recipe for Butter Brickle Biscotti. Most of our other biscotti recipes on the site are a more classically hard and crunchy, but this version includes butter in the base, so the resulting cookie is a little more tender. Don't get me wrong though, they still have a nice crisp texture - just a little softer towards the center. I mixed in some white whole wheat flour just to add a little lightness instead of using all whole wheat - however, I am sure they would be just as good if you didn't. These sticks are also a bit sweeter - included in the dough are hard toffee bits that melt into wonderful caramel-esque sticky pockets throughout each slice. I was intriged by a method this recipe uses for slicing the log - it calls for spritzing the biscotti loaf as it cools... when doing this, I got ultra clean cuts without having any crumbling. I will have to try this out on other recipes to see if this was a fluke or if it really makes a difference! The dough for this recipe is also quite sticky, but don't try to fix that with extra flour - just lightly wet your hands and fingers as this will keep the dough off you and on the log when shaping. By the time we left, the three of us had made a very large dent in the supply - buttery, crisp and can be thoroughly enjoyed dunked or on its own.


7 comments:

  1. I wish you a Happy New Year ;)

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  2. Joe, the spritz method works on all biscotti, at least all the ones I've tried. Other key is not having TOO big chunks - fruit, nuts, chocolate, etc.Anything too big stops your knife and leads to crumbling. Enjoy!

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  3. Chanit - Thanks! You too!

    PJH - It is certainly a great tip! I agree with chunky bits making things worse - I can't wait to try it on other recipes!

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  4. We loved that lasagna soup. There are so many good soup recipes in that cuisine at home soup/stew book.

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  5. Randi - I have to find a chance to make it again... we really do like it!

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  6. What does spritzing mean? Very nice blog by the way ;-))

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  7. Μελενια - Just using a spray bottle giving the biscotti a super light coating of water.

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