Saturday, February 06, 2010

Honey-Sesame Biscotti...

I have yet another biscotti to add to the ever-growing list we've made, thanks to the batch I was able to bake this morning. I wish I had a good back story to share on why we made these Honey-Sesame Biscotti, but all I did was open up our favorite cookie companion, flip through the biscotti section and land on this one.

I think what drew my attention right away was the more unique paring of sticky honey and sesame oil in this recipe. Since they are the dominant flavors, chose the best intoxicating honey you can get your fingers on - we used a local buckwheat honey we picked up at the farmer's market this past summer (which also happens to be outrageous drizzled over Greek yogurt). Because you only need a couple tablespoons of the oil, you will want the make sure to use the more robust version that is dark in color - often labeled as toasted sesame oil.

When all the ingredients were combined, I found the dough very slack and sticky - I did add a dusting of extra flour, but even then it was still loose. Rather than risk adding too much, I set the mixture aside for a good ten minutes to rest - this made for a more reasonable dough, but it was still fussy to work with. Once you get the dough onto the baking sheet, you'll want to smooth it out as best you can - the easiest way to do that is to dampen your digits and gently work it to as even a shape as possible.

To reinforce the sesame essence already in the dough, an abundant smattering of sesame seeds was just the ticket to decorate the top. Even though the dough is tacky, to help the seeds take hold, the dough was first brushed with a light egg white glaze before the seeds were poured over. Just to throw a fancy flare to the mix, I did use a combo of white and black seeds, but one or the other would do the job just fine.

Just like other biscotti recipes we've made of late, once the baked loaf came out of the oven and had rested slightly, we used that genius trick of spritzing the top lightly with water before slicing into the individual sticks. The water softens the crust just enough that a knife (serrated) glides through with little or no crumbling that often happens with biscotti. Set up like little soldiers (rather than laid flat, cut side down) on the baking sheet, the cookies went in for their important second bake which gives them that classic crispy texture. Because of the honey in the dough, they will gain a significantly darker tone than most biscotti, so don't be tempted to take them out too early. They won't be ruined by all means, but they also won't be as crisp.


  1. I love your biscotti recipes! And this one looks fabulous...the honey and sesame sound like they would go together perfectly. Thanks for the tip about the sticky dough and letting it rest--it is so nice to hear from someone who has made it and get a tried and true recipe and tips :-) I can't wait to try it!


  2. Courtney - Thanks! Hope you enjoy this one!