Saturday, March 05, 2016

Brownie Biscotti


One of my current baking goals is biscotti. This isn't because I like it (I actually really don't...I like soft cookies), but because I think it will ship well.  One of my cousins is deployed currently and his mail is especially slow where he is.  These made it!  He even got to share these with some German soldiers.  So the first time I did biscotti, I felt it tasted good (that was the pumpkin pie biscotti and gingerbread biscotti), but the texture wasn't right. I have it now!  There definitely was a learning curve with this one!  I also think this is one where I started with "weird" versions and I needed to start with "basic." 

Brownie Biscotti

1 pkg fudge brownie mix
3/4 cup ground almonds (I bought a 6 oz bag of sliced almonds for a double batch and put them through the blender...it wasn't quite the 1 1/2 cups I needed so I topped it off with whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg plus 3 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
 
In a large bowl, mixed the brownie mix, ground almonds, flour and baking powder.  In a small bowl, whisk egg, egg whites and extract.  Add to brownie mix, stir until combine (umm...yeah...this is hard...I did it with my hands and almost kneaded it).  Dough will eventually be sticky, at first it seems like you don't have enough liquid and so the "kneading" is what gets it to that right consistency. 

Divide dough into thirds and shape into rectangular logs (again this is STICKY...be prepared...some of the comments on the original recipe said they added flour...I actually just might flour my hands in the future).  Bake at 350 for 24 minutes (this sometimes needed a little more...just feel it and see).  Remove from oven and cool for a bit (what I did was let the first batch cool while I baked the second).  Then cut into 3/4 inch slices.  Place cut side down on baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes or until firm (this usually took me a little longer).  So with a double batch, I had two sheets of logs....so I did first baking on first, then cut and did second so they could cool quite a bit, which worked for me.  You want them to look dry - no moisture. 

Cool on wire racks.  These will harden as they cool, which they should do.  You want a "crunch" with biscotti. 
 
You can top with sliced almonds and melted white chocolate if you want. I didn't as I ship most of mine.
 
Makes 2.5 dozen. 
 
So what I don't like about this recipe is the "hidden" nuts.  This is mainly because I ship overseas and I can't just TELL people there are nuts in here even if you can't see them.  So I've been putting "allergy" stickers on these.  But I still don't like that. So I replaced ALL the ground almonds with whole wheat flour and it worked.  I was worried I'd lose consistency (as the ground almonds are moister), but it did fine.  You CAN taste what the almonds add and I think that's a better recipe, but I also think that the plain is still good.  Both are good, adding almonds just adds an added taste dimension, but depending on what you are doing with them, not having nuts in them might be useful.  Oh, when I did this, I also exchanged the almond extract for vanilla extract. 

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