Wasabi Soy Almond Biscotti

So with fall here, the kids and I took out our “Things we are going to do this summer” lists (aka – bucket lists) to see if we accomplished everything we had set out to do on that cold winter day when we wrote them.

zola summer

We were able to accomplish every on our daughter’s list and more. Notice the last one….make biscotti. I love her! Our son however had grander visions and we were not able to knock everything off his list. For example, go surfing in Hawaii and stand on the Great Wall of China, were two we didn’t quite get to this summer and we’ll have to save for another time.

So I figured it was time to tackle a biscotti recipe that had been on my list and I planned to try long ago, but never quite got around to it. In fact I had planned to do it so long ago that the ingredients I bought were actually expired, but I made them anyway. Pleeeeaase, I know you’ve all eaten expired food at some point. Yet the expiration dates weren’t what freaked my family out…it was the actual ingredients.

I was told, “don’t do it!” I was advised against it in the strongest of language. I was told I was crazy. But I went against my better judgment and gave it a try…Wasabi Soy Almond Biscotti. Now I know what you are thinking…and you are right. They weren’t fabulous…or even close to fabulous for that matter.

After a few blind taste tests, because no one would really try them if I told them what was in it, I got some colorful feedback. So, I am not including the recipe here, but keeping it my list of ones to tweek. I am not giving up!

Apple Crisp Biscotti

Apple Crisp Biscotti 6

The fall is by far our favorite time of year. Jeans and sweatshirts, football, and of course apples.

This year we AGAIN missed the honeycrisp apples at the farm. But we did get there in time to pick over 20 pounds of gala apples, which are super sweet and apparently the second most popular apple in the US behind red delicious.

So what’s a family to do with all those apples? Apple crisp is always a favorite in our house, since I don’t do pies. Our all-time favorite crisp is actually the Apple Pear Crisp in the Scotto Sunday Suppers and Other Fabulous Feasts: Creative Entertaining for Every Occasion.

Apple butter is also always on the top of our list. We fill the crock pit to the stop with peeled and roughly chopped apples and then coat them with a mixture of brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and ground cloves. We let it cook on low for about 8 hours before we take the emulsion blender to it. At that point we leave the lid off and turn it to high for about 2 hours, stirring it occasionally. When it reaches a thick consistency and sticks to the back of a spoon, we turn the crock pot off and let it cool completely before storing it. We use apple butter on pancakes and spoon a dollop into yogurt with some granola.

Every year I tell myself I need to figure out what to do with all the apple peels and every year I simply toss them. (I can hear your collective gasp!) So this year I was determined not to waste them. I shredded some in the food processor and stored them in the freezer to use in muffins. I decided to make apple chips with the rest.

And with so many apple chips, it seemed only logical that we should try some in biscotti! These Apple Crisp Biscotti have everything we love in our fruit crisps, minus the stick of butter.

Apple Chips

apple peels from about 25 apples

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

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1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper.

2. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Add the apple peels and toss well.

3. Spread a single layer onto the parchment lined pan and bake for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.

4. Let cool completely before storing.

Apple Crisp Biscotti

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon

1 egg and 3 egg whites (keep the yolks to brush on the logs)

1 tablespoon almond extract

½ cup apple chips, crushed

1/4 cup brown sugar

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1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

2.  In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, and almond extract.

4.  With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.

5.  Add the crushed apple chips. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6.  Separate the dough in half.  Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.

7. Whisk the remaining three egg yolks and liberally brush the top of each log. Press brown sugar onto the top of the logs.

8.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split.  Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

9.  Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board.  Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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What to do with the ends #85: Use the ends to scrap the thick, gooey, sticky, almost crusty, apple butter from the sides of the crock pot when you make your next batch of apple butter.

 

And the winners are…

Thank you to everyone who submitted ideas for our first Holiday Biscotti Giveaway! You each gave us plenty to think about in the coming year and we are sure there are some innovative flavor combinations in our future. Each of your submissions made our mouths water and we look forward to giving them a try, so check back with us to see what’s next.

Before we announce the winners, we wanted to explain how we went about selecting each one.

We wrote each submission on an index card. Separately, each judge and I went through the stack, creating a “yes” pile and a “no” pile. Yet, in our mind you are all winners. There is no more proof of that then this…after our daughter and I finished going through the cards, we were left with only one pile. A very tall “yes” pile. I had to remind her she had to pick just one.

None of your names were anywhere on the cards, so the judges did not know who submitted what idea.

While I know we would enjoy all of the biscotti you submitted, there can be only two winners. Ironically enough, the two winners hail from the same household. We swear it wasn’t fixed! The two big winners of our first Holiday Biscotti Giveaway are…

winner

Congratulations to James (Apple Peach Biscotti) and Katie (Gingerbread Biscotti with Frosting)! The judges will hand deliver your biscotti in time for your family to enjoy over the holidays.

Thank you again to everyone who participated! Happy Holidays!

Biscotti Giveaway

The Big Biscotti Holiday Bake is in high gear! The bowls, whisks, spatulas, measuring cups, parchment paper, and baking sheets are permanent fixtures in the kitchen, beckoning to us each morning. The counter is strewn with nuts, fruits, liquors, and other ingredients for us to find in our flurry of creativity. The kitchen will be coated in a fine dusting of flour for the next few weeks and it is right about now I wish we had a dog to help me clean up the floor!

Of course the kids will each be creating their signature holiday biscotti. Our daughter’s Cinnamon Palooza was the big hit last year. I’ve got a glimpse of what they are concocting for this year and I don’t think you will be disappointed. The kids and I sat down and decided on a line up for this year, trying to take into consideration all the requests we’ve received. Although there is a good chance we will add to it or change it at some point, this year’s lineup starts with the following:

Lemon Thyme Biscotti with Homemade Candied Lemon Peels

Nutty Biscotti Dipped in Dark Chocolate

Mint Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Almond Ameretto Biscotti

Lemoncello with Toasted Pingoli Biscotti with a Lemon Glaze

Orange Walnut Biscotti Drizzled with Milk Chocolate

Peppermint Biscotti Topped with White Chocolate and Crushed Peppermints

Chocolate, Almond, and Marzipan Biscotti

Lemon Poppy Seed  Biscotti

Khalua and Espresso Biscotti

Almond and Apricot Biscotti

Root Beer Float Biscotti

Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti

Banana Cream and Roasted Walnut Biscotti

Blueberry Lavender Biscotti

We also wanted to try something different this year and host a Biscotti Giveaway. We are looking to you for inspiration, innovation, and ingredients. We are hoping that you might consider submitting an idea for a brand new biscotti, something you’ve wanted to try but haven’t or simply an original idea for a flavor combination that would knock our socks off. We wish we had more to share with you as far as criteria and rules go, but it’s really totally subjective.

Here is the lowdown. Baker One and Baker Two will each decide on a winner, because I am quite sure a consensus is totally out of the question, which will be announced online at Big Biscotti Bake. I can tell you the judges are very excited about their role in determining the winners. The winner’s ideas will be creatively turned into biscotti, either delivered by post or in person by little hands, in time to enjoy before the holidays. Please submit your ideas at the end of this post by Sunday, December 15th at 5:00 pm. It takes just a minute and you could find a box of biscotti on your doorstep in a few days!