December 25, 2014 1 Comment
Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you all have had a nice couple of days relaxing with family and friends.
After spending a grueling few weeks of non-stop homework, tests, and papers from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I am finally enjoying a reprieve in sunny St. Lucia where I have clocked more hours sunbathing in a hammock than I think I ever have before. Of course, this wonderful illusion of not having to do anything will come crashing down in a few days when I return home to the land of studying for midterms and learning about buffers for AP Chemistry, but for now, both my mind and body are in paradise.
Although I am still dreaming about the crunchy deliciousness that are these biscotti…
I came up with these when I was trying to decide what cookies to make for my teachers this year. I wanted something fun and slightly sophisticated–no chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin here! I then arrived at biscotti, which I decided to flavor with orange and ginger for a slightly-sweet, slightly-citrusy, slightly-spicy flavor profile. With almond flour as the base and pistachios added in, these had a wonderful note of nuttiness as well.
If you’d like to change up the taste, it’s easy with these cookies! Simply a spice or extract, a citrus fruit (or slightly-acidic fruit), and a nut, and you’re good to go. How about almond, lemon, and vanilla? Walnut, grapefruit, and star anise? Macadamia nut, pineapple, and coconut? You get the idea. Just play around with your favorites and you’ll wind up with a lovely treat. 🙂
Biscotti may sound intimidating, but no need to fear–they’re actually quite easy to make! Simply pulse together the dry ingredients…
…add the wet ingredients, then fold in the nuts with a spatula…
…form into a log…
…bake until golden brown, let cool, slice, and bake again! Easy as that for a lovely treat that still maintains its fancy edge.
Yield 15-20 cookies
3 cups of blanched almond flour
3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder
1-2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
A pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup of honey or coconut nectar (if you want it to be vegan)
3/4 cup of pistachios, chopped
The zest of 1 large orange
1/3 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice
1/3-1/2 cup of crystallized ginger
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, arrowroot powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon several times until no clumps of almond flour remain.
Next, add in the liquid sweetener and orange juice and pulse until a sticky ball of dough forms. If the ball doesn’t hold together, add more arrowroot powder and almond flour one teaspoon at a time. If the ball seems too dry, add a little more orange juice (if you have it) or just a teaspoon or so of water. At this point, you should also taste the dough and see if it needs more sweetener or ginger–there are no eggs to worry about, so just go for it!
Remove the blade from the food processor and, using a good spatula, fold in the pistachios, orange zest, and crystallized ginger.
Scoop the dough out of the food processor and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and, using your hands, shape it into a log that’s approximately 12″ by 9″ and isn’t flat as a pancake. Use a rolling pin if you need to to flatten the top.
Bake until the log is lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool to room temperature–this will take 1 to 2 hours, and the longer the wait the better.
Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the log lengthwise (so from shorter side to shorter side) into 15-20 cookies. Turn the oven heat down to 300 degrees and place the cookies back on the baking sheet with one of the lighter sides facing up.
Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side. If the cookies begin to seriously brown, turn the oven heat down to 275 or 250 and/or flip them over a little earlier.
Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Dip in a good cup of coffee and enjoy!
What is your favorite holiday cookie? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!