19 December 2008

Holiday Baking Adventures, Part I

This time of year for me is one usually full of baking or the aching desire to bake. I had been craving Pannetone for quite awhile when I decided today would be the day that I fulfill that mouthwatering desire. The only card in the spoke of my baking adventure? Snow. Despite my love for snow and being snowed in, I find myself irrationally angry at the city of Pullman once I look outside and realize that my tiny little roller skate of a car will never make it on these hills until they actually REMOVE the damn snow from the road. (A little caveat here: the plows are housed across the street from my where I live, and yesterday they sat idling in the parking lot while the drivers played Wii in the office. Dude. Get out there and plow. Seriously.)

Without the ingredients to make the always lovely pannetone, I decided on a biscotti recipe for which I already had a recipe. The linked recipe below has been somewhat modified, and if you follow the linked recipe, consider adding the orange zest--it adds a very pleasant touch to an otherwise tame biscotti.

Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti

¾ cup sugar
¼ cup olive oil
2 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp. almond extract
2 eggs
1 tbl. finely grated orange zest
1 ½ cups flour
¼ cup ground flax (you can omit this and increase flour to 1 ¾ cups flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ cup dried orange craisins
¾ cup pistachios (if unsalted, add an additional ¼ tsp. salt to dry ingredients)

1. Preheat oven to 300. Mix together olive oil and sugar, and then beat in eggs. Add almond and vanilla extracts, and orange zest. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients and add to wet slowly. The batter should be very stiff once the dry and wet ingredients are fully integrated, and then work nuts and cranberries evenly through batter.

2. Make two long logs out of batter (be sure to rinse your hands before touching the dough—it’s super sticky!) and arrange on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for around 30 minutes.

3. Remove lightly browned logs from the oven and remove from parchment paper to cool on a baking rack or other surface for at least ten minutes. Cut the logs into even slices (see photo). Reduce oven heat to 200 degrees and place sliced biscotti (on their sides) back on parchment paper. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until completely dried out.

The dough is pretty stiff by the time you get to this point, so if you're like me and miss playing in the mud by the time winter rolls around, you'll dig in with your hands!

Be careful to leave enough room between the logs so when they spread out in the oven they don't bake together.

Let the logs cool before cutting to avoid the crumb factor

Cut before rearranging on parchment paper for the second baking

The finished product--ta da! I love a nice cup of coffee with these babies in the morning.


Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Lovely! Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti are the perfect colors for Christmas!

Dr. Food said...

I didn't even think of that, and I distributed them for Hanukkah.....my bad....