Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Whole wheat fruit & nut biscotti

We gave up cable when we bought our house. At the time it was a money thing, as in we didn't have any. Now cable is affordable, but we continue to abstain for moral (read: self-righteous) and apathetic reasons. We can get our shows on iTunes- why bother with Comcast?

This means my only source of food t.v. is the Saturday afternoon of cooking shows on PBS. These come on infrequently, but when I stumble upon a block of them I sit in silent foodie bliss for hours. Lidia's Italy is one of my faves, and so is Everyday Food. The latter is a Martha Stewart production, but is surprisingly accessible to those of us who are less interested in tablescapes and napkin rings you can make from pine cones. Hey- remember that ugly sweater she knit in prison? This show is way more fun than that.

Not gonna lie- when you make actual biscotti in your own kitchen, you'll feel like a genuine Italian. Be prepared. What up, Giada!

These are your ingredients. Because biscotti are somewhat labor intensive I decided to make a double batch. More is almost always better.

Preheat oven to 350. Oil a baking sheet.

Chop dried fruits so they are roughly the same size if using different kinds. I used raw pecan halves and dried figs, apricots, & cherries so there were a variety of shapes.

Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, dried nuts, and dried fruit in a large bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs and the vanilla.

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and gently mix.

On a floured surface, turn out the dough and shape two loaves (you'd only shape one if you made a single recipe).

Place the two loaves on the greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 until risen and firm- about 25 minutes.

Once the cookie loaves are in the oven, use this time to clean up the biscotti bomb that has exploded in your kitchen.

After the first bake, the biscotti loaves need to cool completely before you can slice them and bake them again.

While you are waiting for this to happen, you can use this time to do other useful things. I went to buy the monster (dog) some food & to the library to pick up the copy of Ratio by Michael Ruhlman I put on hold.

I also went to the grocery and bought more butter because a blizzard is a'comin' and there is nothing better than baking during a storm.

After the biscotti cool, you must slice them. Try to make them 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. I use a serrated bread knife- it keeps them from ripping as you slice.

Lower the oven temperature to 300.

Layer the biscotti on the cookie sheet.

Don't be like me! The above picture shows biscotti that are too close together! These cookies need space because this batch steamed and were not crunchy the first go round. I had to get out another cookie sheet- separate these and rebake. LAME!

Remember- cookies are like Americans- they need personal space. At least an inch or two!

Bake again at 300 for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until golden.

Cool completely.

Once they are completely cooled, you have a couple of options.

You can store them sensibly- here I've used a covered Pyrex baking dish since I don't own a cookie jar- crazy, right? There's a lid that fits securely on top.

OR....if you're feeling really frisky...


I have no clue how many biscotti I made- more than 40. Dunk these bad boys in your morning coffee and revel in your newly acquired Italianess!

Recipe from Everyday Food from PBS:


24 slices

  • Vegetable oil, for baking sheet
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with oil; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir in walnuts and raisins. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Add to flour mixture; stir just until combined.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands, pat dough into a loaf about 1 inch thick, 2 1/2 inches wide (and about 7 inches long); transfer to baking sheet. Bake until risen and firm, 20 to 25 minutes; cool completely on sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  4. Place loaf on a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch-thick slices; place slices in a single layer on sheet. Bake, turning once, until dried and slightly golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 month.

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