While I was watching a recent episode of The Cupcake Wars, ironically peddling away on the elliptical nonetheless, while one of the bakers was frantically wondering why her cupcakes weren’t rising in the oven. You’ve seen it before. You could have heard the ding, as the light went off in her head when she realized in all the pandemonium and confusion she forgot to add the baking powder. She starts preparing another batch, all the while bemoaning the fact that one ingredient, baking powder, may have just cost her $10,000. Boy I am glad I don’t bake under pressure like that. (She wins by the way.)
While I’m no Alton Brown, we do talk in the kitchen about why we add this ingredient or that when we bake. Just the other day, our daughter asked, “what would happen if we left out the baking powder?” We talked about the fact that the biscotti wouldn’t rise and the little air holes that we see in the biscotti after we slice them wouldn’t be there. The biscotti would be more dense. I promised her an experiment and that we’d make our next batch without it. Afterall, as Emerson once said, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” We couldn’t agree more. And that is exactly what we did with these Honey Roasted Sunflower Seed Biscotti with Orange Cranberries.
We may have left the bowl of Halloween candy on the table a little too long. So yesterday we finally tucked all the sweet treats away to be slowly doled out throughout the year. We need something a little healthier around here to snack on. So with plenty of homemade honey and cinnamon roasted sunflower seeds to satisfy our sweet tooth (the recipe is below), we decided to incorporate these tasty treasures into a biscotti. We used some barley flour to keep the biscotti from getting too crunchy, made three logs to keep them small for little hands, and of course left out the baking powder. I think we are finally coming down from the sugar rush.
Honey Roasted Sunflower Seed Biscotti with Orange Cranberries
YIELD: approximately two dozen
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup barley flour
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons wheat germ
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons chai seeds (black or white)
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
1 teaspoon orange extract
zest of one orange
¼ cup agave
½ cup orange flavored dried cranberries
1 cup honey roasted sunflower seeds (recipe below)
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, salt, wheat germ, flaxseed, chai seeds, nutmeg and cinnamon.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, orange extract, orange zest, and agave.
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 cranberries and sunflower seeds. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.
6. Separate the dough into thirds. Form three logs, approximately 2 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread slightly as it bakes.
7. Drizzle the top of each log with agave and sprinkle with brown sugar. Use your fingers to rub the mixture over the top and sides of each log.
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.
Honey Roasted Sunflower Seeds
¼ cup honey
½ tablespoon agave
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups shelled raw sunflower seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Heat the honey agave, oil, salt, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat for about 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat and stir in sunflower seeds until the seeds are completely coated.
4. Spread the sunflower seeds in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan. The seeds will harden like a brittle.
7. Break off chucks to snack on. Store in an airtight container.
What to do with the ends #46: Use the ends as mustaches in your next family photo.