I may have found my calling. I imagine life in a small coastal Italian town where biscotti abounds and people come to my shop to taste my latest biscotti creations! A girl can dream, right? I'm currently on a biscotti baking bender! Not those hard tooth breaking kind where a cup of coffee or glass of milk is a requirement for dunking (softening). My biscotti are crunchy on the outside but chewy till the last bite.
As you know I like to cook or bake with secret ingredients. This time I sprinkled a bit of culinary lavender into the batter. What a pleasant surprise! Now, to figure a way to market them. Yes, they were that good! Stay tuned for more flavors and variations of my "Beloved Biscotti".
This recipe makes between 40-50 biscotti. (2 loaves cut roughly into 1/2 - 3/4 inch slices) I made both with lavender but only one had the addition of blueberry craisins. Both were quite wonderful.
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (toasted or not)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp culinary lavender, crushed
1/2 cup chocolate chips or small chunks
2 large eggs, for batter
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup blueberry flavored craisins (optional)
2 Tbsp water (depending on dough consistency)
1 egg, beaten for brushing the tops
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl hand mix the hazelnuts, sugar, baking powder, flour, lavender and chocolate chips.
In a smaller bowl stir in the 2 eggs and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture along with the blueberry craisins, if using. Flour your hands and use a well floured surface (bread board) to start working with the dough. It will be VERY sticky and will look like a mistake. Persevere! It will come together. If it's too dry, add some of the water. If it's too wet add a bit of flour. Form a ball and cut in half.
On the floured surface roll each piece into a log shape approximately 12 inches long, 3 inches wide and only 3/4 inch high. Do the same with the other loaf. Arrange on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Brush with the beaten egg.
Bake for 40 minutes, turning the baking sheet around halfway through. The loaves should be golden colored. Remove and cool for 20 minutes before slicing. Resist the urge to eat them.
After cooling slide them onto a cutting surface. Using a serrated knife cut into 3/4 inch slices.
At this point you have a BIG decision to make. For traditional biscotti (harder), reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees. Place the cut biscotti onto the same parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. I like my biscotti softer so I either don't do the second baking or only bake the second time for 10 minutes. You can choose. Remove when done, cool and store in an airtight container.
Here are the chocolate lavender blueberry biscotti!