The much sought after and highly requested star of last year’s Big Biscotti Bake…meet Cinnamon Palooza! Each year the kids create a signature biscotti for us to share with friends and family during the holidays. Out of all the dozens we made last winter, Cinnamon Palooza was by far the favorite. If there was ever a recipe people ask us for, this is the one. Last year our daughter found a bag of cinnamon imperials on the counter I was using for another recipe. She tried one and was hooked. She decided on the spot that her signature biscotti needed to incorporate cinnamon imperials and all other things cinnamon. And, we should call it Cinnamon Palooza. Well, maybe we should just let her tell you about these very cinnamony creations.
The Baker: I want to ask you some questions about the Cinnamon Palooza Biscotti.
Daughter: What if I don’t know the answers?
The Baker: You created the biscotti, so you are the only one who knows the answers. Can you tell me how did you came up with the idea for Cinnamon Palooza Biscotti?
Daughter: I saw the cinnamon balls right on the counter and I thought about it right away.
The Baker: And what did you think about?
Daughter: I thought about how they would taste in biscotti and I thought they would taste really good. So I decided to try it out.
The Baker: So how do cinnamon imperials or cinnamon balls taste?
The Baker: Can you describe it a little bit more for me. What does cinnamon taste like?
Daughter: Well kind of a tiny bit spicy. And they are really good too.
The Baker: Do cinnamon imperials or cinnamon balls taste different from cinnamon the spice?
The Baker: How are they different?
Daughter: Because I think there is a little less cinnamon added.
The Baker: How do you think the Cinnamon Palooza Biscotti you created taste?
Daughter: Great! They tasted very good.
The Baker: Can you elaborate on that?
Daughter: Uh…what does elaborate mean?
The Baker: Can you explain more about what the Cinnamon Palooza Biscotti taste like to you?
Daughter: They are very good and only a little spicy and I only like a little spicy. And it was very good and I hope you enjoy them too.
The Baker: Can you tell me what you think the biscotti look like?
Daughter: In the biscotti, they look like there are little red balls of fire in the biscotti.
The Baker: Why did you give your biscotti the name Cinnamon Palooza?
Daughter: Because there are a whole bunch of cinnamon balls in there and it is like a palooza.
The Baker: Is there anything people that are reading our blog should know about Cinnamon Palooza Biscotti? Anything else you want to tell them?
Daughter: No, not actually. Do you have any more questions?
And there you have it, from the mouth of the creator herself. We normally make these over-the-top cinnamon biscotti with plain whole almonds, but we stumbled upon a bag of Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Almonds and thought why not even more cinnamon.
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups flour
¼ cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for the topping
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon, plus 1 teaspoon for the topping
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup cinnamon imperials
¼ cup cinnamon chips
1/2 cup whole almonds or cinnamon coated almonds
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, sugars, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites (save the yolks for the egg wash to top the biscotti logs), and vanilla 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 cinnamon imperials, cinnamon chips, and almonds and 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 together the two remaining egg yolks. Brush the top of the logs with the eggs.
8. Mix together 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of the logs.
9. 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.
10. 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.
What to do with the ends #16: Dip the ends in paint and use like a brush to create biscotti art.