Biscotti come in various forms. Some are so hard you could use them to pave a freeway. And some are just perfect.
These are delightfully perfect. And, they have a double life. This recipe calls for all-purpose flour. If you have family or friends with Celiac disease, then you can substitute gluten-free flour here and obtain a wonderful, and just ever so slightly different, treat. The figs will look a bit like chocolate chips, but they aren’t and when you bite into them you get that wonderful fruit flavor. Of course, there’s nothing to keep you from adding in some chips just for fun.
Suzen works with the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, offering monthly events where Celiac patients and families come to learn to cook together. The wonderful thing we have learned is that a Celiac-friendly meal can be absolutely wonderful. From appetizers through dessert. At this week’s event, everyone left with biscotti on their palette and the recipe in their hands.
Buttery Hazelnut-Fig Biscotti
Yield: 6 dozen biscotti
- 2 ½ cups hazelnuts [10 ounces]
- 14 ounces dried Calimyrna figs
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/3 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 325°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 12 to 14 minutes, until the skins blister. Let cool, then transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub off as much of the skins as possible. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, cover the figs with water and microwave at high power for 1 minute, just until the figs are plump. Drain well. Trim off the stem ends and slice the figs ⅛ inch thick.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the eggs. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat at low speed until combined. Add the nuts and figs and beat until combined.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to a work surface and roll into six 10-by-1 ½-inch logs. Arrange the logs on the baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and firm. Let the logs cool for 15 minutes.
On a work surface, using a serrated knife, slice the logs on the diagonal ⅔ inch thick. Arrange the biscotti cut sides up on the baking sheets and bake for about 18 minutes, until lightly browned. Let the biscotti cool, then serve or store.
Source: Vergennes, VT: A Bakery’s Perfect Tarts and Desserts described in foodandwine.com
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 18-55MM lens shot at F/5.0, 1/60th second, ISO 2000