Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cake of the Week: Coconut Almond Biscotti

Oh. My. Goodness. Eat Run Read is too beautiful for words!

Ha! Just kidding! Because you all know that I’m a Chatty Cathy and love to word-it-up at any and every opportunity. (But seriously, how talented and amazing are my friends??? Shout out to Photoman! I almost died when I saw these pictures! And the new header - well, let's just say that she may or may not be the immanent recipient of my undying gratitude!)

This week, I decided to steer away from cake and go back to a childhood favorite. Biscotti. Ymmmmmmmm.

A couple times a year, I would return from school to see our kitchen completely covered in biscotti. Because my mama has one cooking motto: If you’re making something, double it. And if it’s good, you may as well quadruple it!

And biscotti is the perfect example. Every year in December and June, my sisters and I would head out with bags of these crunchy flavorful cookies for our elementary school teachers, swim coaches, ski coaches, ballet teachers, tennis instructors, music tutors, soccer coaches, etc. etc. etc. (yes, we were those kids with all the lessons – and I think it’s the best thing my parents could have done for us!).

Because biscotti are the perfect gift-cookie.  They are elegant and special. Hard enough to make that they are a unique homemade treat (well, more time consuming than actually challenging), but not so hard that you can’t manage a huge batch in an afternoon. And they store forever. A cookie tin/Tupperware will keep them fresh for weeks, and you can always pop them in the freezer to store them for months!

These cookies are Italian, and usually served dipped in coffee/espresso. My mama’s recipe was very traditional – anise seeds and liquors galore – but I decided to go for something a little different: Coconut Almond Biscotti!

I didn’t have coconut extract, so mine are not that coconutty. And I decided to add ¼ cup chopped roasted almonds for that extra crunch. (And um, sidenote: they don’t have any butter. Does this qualify them as health food? Let’s just agree on a yes.)

When I was a little kid, I didn’t always like the extreme crunchiness of these cookies (because Mini-Mollie did not have coffee to dip them in – crazy, I know!) But I did love the chocolate coating (really it’s just melted semi-sweet chocolate chips). So to me, biscotti without chocolate is like an unfinished book. Not cool. So obviously I coated these babies in chocolate. Yum!

Coconnut Biscotti (from Annie's Eats, from Elly Says Opa!)


3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. coconut extract

1 cup flaked coconut

1/4 cup chopped roasted almonds

3 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, eggs, vanilla and coconut extracts.  Beat on medium-low speed until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fold in the flaked coconut with a spatula.

2. Turn the dough out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.  Divide into two equal segments and form each into a log 1-inch deep, and approximately 4 inches wide.  (Be sure to leave room between the logs as they will spread during baking.)

3. Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. 

4. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs diagonally into 14-20 slices, depending on thickness.  Lay the slices on their sides and bake for 10 minutes. 

5. Flip the slices over and bake for 10 minutes more.

6. Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl.  Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted.  Drizzle over the biscotti and allow to cool until the chocolate is set.