A Dunker’s Companion: Biscotti

By Donna Helzer, Guest Author and Friend

If you ask around there are dunkers and non-dunkers in life.  Non-dunkers just do not understand dunkers and there is no convincing them.  I am a dunker.  Of course, I dunk cookies into milk, but my coffee with cream is host to various things…toast, muffins, cookies, scones, and of course biscotti.  I admit I don’t think to buy biscotti, but if I receive it as a gift, the coffee is quickly brewing!

So, after a full day of chocolate dipping nuts, pretzels, and cookies for our traditional Christmas baking, I came home thinking about dunking some of those yummy goodies into my coffee.  Then, biscotti came to mind.  Hmm, I had no biscotti…but could I make it?  I got on-line in search of recipes.  It didn’t seem too difficult, even for the non-baker in me.  Each recipe had aniseed in it, a licorice flavor that I do not like.  Could I make biscotti without aniseed?  Why not try!

The recipe I found was on Cooks.com, which is my first stop for researching a tried and true recipe. I decided to try it, but without the aniseed.  The next morning I creamed, added, molded, baked, and cut.  I used walnuts in half of the batch and pecans in the other half of the batch.  Living in Colorado Springs, our arid climate changes the moisture content of the flour, so I added less flour than this recipe called for and an extra egg.  It was an easy recipe to follow and wasn’t time consuming.  My hubby (an occasional dunker) loved it!

There are many ways to customize this recipe—mini chocolate chips, dipping one side in chocolate, add orange zest, almond instead of vanilla—to develop a unique biscotti flavor.  Share with a friend over coffee, or give as a gift with specialty coffee or hot coco packets in a fun mug for someone’s birthday.  Whether you share or not, dunk or not, this is an easy biscotti recipe to make and enjoy!

BISCOTTI

½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped pecans
6 eggs
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
7 to 8 cups flour (till dough formed)

Cream the salt, eggs, butter, and sugar together. Add anise seed to taste, baking powder, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour until dough is formed. Divide dough into 2 equal parts and knead walnuts into ½ and pecans into the other ½.  Divide each ball into 2 balls, shape into small flat loaves, and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cut loaves while warm (NOT HOT) about 1 inch wide and lay on side in cookie sheet. Put back in the oven for about 5 minutes – until lightly toasted. Flip and toast other side for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

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