Saturday, March 29, 2014

Biscotti Aloha

I will admit, I have not been a great fan of the biscotti-type cookies.  After baking these, I realized that there is a vast difference in the texture of homemade vs store bought. The store bought biscotti are not all that great, especially if you are not the type to dunk.  Simply put, they are too hard and dry.  These homemade biscotti have a cookie type texture, sort of the same as snickerdoodle cookies.

For traditional flavor and taste, homemade is the answer.  So if someone tells you they have tasted it from the grocers, they have yet to experience the true traditional, homemade flavor.  Some foods from the grocers come closer to hitting the mark than others, but when it comes to biscotti- the grocers version is way off.

Besides the nice texture, these biscotti bring forth the flavors of the tropics with with coconut amaretto, macadamia nuts and coconut. Also, the cookies are easy to make and easy to transport. This recipe makes about 3 1/2 to 4 dz cookies.

Biscotti Aloha
adapted from a little book called Biscotti by Lou Pappas

2/3 cup quartered or chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2 eggs
2 tbs coconut amaretto or 2 tbs milk
and 1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups plus 2 tbs flour

Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.  The preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, beat butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes on medium speed.  Then beat in the eggs ( one at a time) and continue to beat while adding in the coconut amaretto or milk and almond extract. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, flour, baking powder and nutmeg.  Fold the sifted ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture.  Once dough is formed and no dry streaks remain, stir in the nuts and coconut.

Divide the dough into two batches.  Take each batch and form into a log.  Each log should measure 14 inches long, 1/2 thick and 1 1/2 inches wide.  Place each log 2 inches apart and side by side on the baking sheet.  The longest length of each should be parallel with the longest side of your baking sheet. 

Place in oven and bake for about 25 minutes, rotating at the halfway point.  Logs should have a golden crust when done.  Remove pan and place pan on rack.  Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Take one log and put on a cutting board.  Slice the log with a serrated knife on the diagonal, cutting into half inch slices at a 45 degree angle. Do the same with the second log.  Then take each slice and place cut side down on prepared baking sheet.

Place sheet in oven and let cookies bake for 2 minutes.  Then remove and flip over with second cut side facing down and bake for another 3 minutes.  Remove pan and place on rack for cookies to completely cool.

Tips and Notes:
1. coconut amaretto was not found at the liquor store so I used a mixture of 1 tbs and 2 1/2 tsp of amaretto and 1/2 tsp coconut extract.
2. For an extra special cookie, try coating one end in melted white chocolate.
                               **LAST YEAR: Pistachio Layer Cake**