My exposure to biscotti had been limited to a large jar that we picked at our bulk food stores during the holiday season. I loved them as they were individually wrapped and I could choose from a variety of flavors. I never thought about them beyond buying that jar every year and gobbling down a few with my weekend coffee.
Then one day, I ate an almond biscotti at some Italian coffee shop. Flawless biscotti! It was divine! The taste was pure and the crunch was supreme sounding. Soon I found myself digging for the ultimate biscotti recipes. I tried several recipes but could not get close to the accuracy I had in mind.
Finally I landed upon this date and almond cornmeal biscotti in a Martha Stewart book. The recipe gave me the perfection I wanted and the ease I am always looking for while baking! The taste is subtle, the almonds give it the perfect crunch and the dates add to the sweetness. Also, I found the batch size more manageable in home ovens.
Date & Almond Cornmeal Biscotti
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Yields about 16 to 18 biscotti
1/2 cup plus 2 TBS all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 TBS yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 TBS unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped almond
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a bowl, mix with a whisk or fork and set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.
Now add the flour mixture all at once, and beat on a low speed until just combined.
Add the dates and almond and mix in with a spatula or fork.
Transfer the dough on to the prepared baking sheet and with wet hands pat the dough to form a log shape of about 13-14 by 3-4 inch size. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the log is lightly browned, firm to touch and slightly cracked on top.
Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 15-20 minutes. Transfer the log to the cutting board leaving parchment on the sheet. Cut the log crosswise using a serrated knife in to 1/2 inch thick pieces. Place cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for about 15-16 minutes until just beginning to brown rotating sheet halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet.
Store the cooled biscotti in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Perfect for dunking in your coffee, tea or even wine!
Recipe can be easily doubled.
Try with a combination of macadamia nuts and apricots, cranberries & pistachios, white & dark chocolate, cashews and raisins!