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Bake a Gift: Homemade Biscotti

August 17, 2010

Kyle and I had more weddings, graduations, and birthdays to celebrate this year than we expected.  Consequently, we are WAY over our gift budget for the year, so I’ve been dreaming up ways to make our dollar stretch in that area.  I think I’m going to start gifting health-conscious foods to people.  The two front runners I want to try are homemade Biscotti and Granola.  Here are some recipes I found today that I am really curious to try.

The best Biscotti I’ve ever had is what I ate every morning of our Anniversary trip to Old Mission Peninsula.  We stayed at a quaint B&B at the Chateau Grand Traverse.  The Biscotti was not crunchy.  Instead it was more chewy, like a dense cookie.  This made it delightful to enjoy by itself, or dipped into the coffee.  So I adapted these recipes to include less bake time.  I hope it works out the way I want it to!

Cinnamon Hazelnut Biscotti

Calories: 138 | Total Fat: 7.8g

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hazelnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F(175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; mix into the egg mixture. Stir in the hazelnuts. Shape dough into two equal logs approximately 12 inches long. Place logs on baking sheet, and flatten out to about 1/2 inch thickness.
  3. Bake for about 25 minutes in preheated oven, or until edges are golden and the center is firm. Remove from oven to cool on the pans. When loaves are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to slice the loaves diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices. Return the slices to the baking sheet.Bake for an additional 10 minutes, turning over once. Cool completely, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cherry Hazelnut Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or cherries

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs; add the sugar, oil, lemon juice and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in cherries. Divide dough in half.
  2. On parchment-lined baking sheet, shape each portion into 12-in x 3-in. rectangle. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully remove to wire racks; cool for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
  3. Transfer biscotti to a cutting board; cut diagonally with a serrated knife into 3/4-in. slices. Place cut side down on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until firm, turning after 15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container.
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