Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Biscotti

This is the time of year that I have weekly meetings with colleagues to go over various topics related to a project we work on each spring.  Since I'm the meeting organizer, I am also responsible for making sure everyone is well caffeinated and fed (since the meets last upward of two and half hours.  Last year I used the group as guinea pigs to test drive various recipes and figured I'd do the same this year.  It helps keep the excess sweets out of the house and my colleagues really look forward to it.  There are some new faces to the group this year, so they enjoyed learning about the homemade goodies.  And I was accused by another colleague of trying to lure more people into the group with promises of "better food" at our meetings than other groups have.  What can I say, I have my devices.

But back to these Brown Sugar Cinnamon Biscotti.  Another recipe from my newly acquired KingArthur Flour Cookie Companion, I got to use one of my other Christmas gifts--the biscotti pan--to make these tasty treats.  The biscotti pan is completely unnecessary to make these, but since I have a hard enough time cutting things in a straight line or shape even dough, I figured it'd be one way to ensure some element of evenness to the biscotti.  I'd never made biscotti before because I was intimidated by the twice-baked process, but it's actually super easy to do.  This recipe is based on an Italian-style biscotti and I used one of the cookbook's suggested flavor variations by subbing in brown sugar and adding cinnamon, and cinnamon chips. I left out the nuts because I was more interested in the cinnamon this time around.  These biscotti turned out great.  I probably could have baked them a tough longer for a slightly more crisp (and authentic) texture, but they were still perfectly dunkable for coffee and the cinnamon flavor paired nicely with the brown sugar, creating a sweet and crispy treat to keep everyone happy and awake through the meeting.  I'll definitely be making more biscotti (I've do have that pan to use), and I look forward to trying the many flavor variations, as well as attempting the softer American-style biscotti recipe.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Biscotti


2 large eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup cinnamon chips

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla until creamy.

Lower mixer speed and add flour, cinnamon, cinnamon chips and walnuts and stir until just incorporated. 

Transfer the down to a greased or parchment lined biscotti pan or to a large baking sheet.  Shape dough into a rough log approximately 14 inches long (or press evenly into biscotti pan).  The log should be able 2 1/2 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick.  Use a wet dough scraper or wet hands to shape the dough evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 5 to 25 minutes. 

Five minutes before cutting, lightly but thoroughly spray room temperature water along the log, including sides and top.  Note: I didn't have a spray bottle, so I used a silicon basting brush and lightly wet the top of my dough.  This softens the crust of the dough, making it easier to cut.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and wait 5 minutes before cutting the biscotti into 3/4 inch slices.  Note: Be sure to cut straight up and down so as to keep even thickness from top to bottom of the biscotti.  Feel free to slice on a diagonal or crosswise, to your preferences for size.  Set the biscotti upright on a parchment or silicon lined baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in airtight containers to preserve texture, or if you'd like the biscotti harder, store uncovered overnight to continue drying.

Makes 14 biscotti.

Happy Baking,

The Cookie Princess

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