Somehow biscotti manages to avoid many of the problems that plague regular cookies. When you go to a coffee shop first thing in the morning and pick out a huge chocolate chip cookie for breakfast, you may get a side-eye from the cashier. But a biscotti with your cup of morning joe just seems to make sense. They often have nuts in them (a healthy fat) or contain some sort of dried fruits (a good source of fiber). Why, at that rate, a biscotti is just one step away from a granola bar, which is totally acceptable to eat for the “most important” meal of the day.
But it’s not just in the morning that biscotti dodges the stigma of its sugary brethren. It’s also at the end of a meal when you are so stuffed that you can’t even contemplate looking at a dessert menu. You order a shot of espresso or a small glass of Vin Santo instead but when it comes accompanied by an innocent looking biscotti, you eat it without a second thought. It’s not really a cookie, it’s merely an enhancement for your beverage.
This is why I love biscotti. There just aren’t many times that I don’t enjoy eating them, whether it’s as a crunchy snack on their own or dipped in a hot cup of caffeinated goodness. And they are so incredibly simple to make that it’s easy to have them around at all times.
I recently went on a little cookie bender and churned out two types of biscotti for the holidays. It all began because I wanted to try out this recipe for pistachio and dried cherry biscotti from Bon Appetite. I ended up doing a slight modification because the only pistachios I could find at the grocery store by my house were roasted in the shell (really Fred Meyer?) and I’ll be upfront in saying I was just not dedicated enough to shell them.
So even though I would have loved to have the red of the cherries and the green of the nuts echo the colors of Christmas, that just did not happen. I used pecans instead and they were fabulous. *On another side note, I followed my instincts and chopped up the cherries prior to mixing them in. I thought that would make it easier to slice them before their second baking and it totally did.
And because they didn’t even last long enough for me to dip any in chocolate, I decided to whip up another batch, this time using the more traditional flavors of almond and anise. I used this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker, and again, it was fabulous. I might even up the anise flavoring and seeds next time because I love the taste so much, but regardless, these were divine.
You should probably just make a batch of each as soon as possible. You might be sick of Christmas cookies or about to begin your “eating healthy” new year’s resolution. But biscotti will still be there for you, from dawn until dusk, for breakfast or dessert, patiently waiting.