I’ve always been more of a savory girl. It’s not uncommon for me to opt out of dessert altogether in favor of a second heaping portion of dinner. My tongue belongs to the salts and savories. But lately, all I’ve wanted is Oreos.It started when I made 6 dozen Oreo Cookies’n’Cream Cupcakes for Magpie Jewelry's Benchworks event last week. I bought about 4 boxes and there they sat, untouched on the counter until it was time to bake. Talent, some might say, but not so much for me. For some obscene reason, I was under the impression that I didn’t like Oreos. WHO DOESN’T LIKE OREOS?! I thought I could lay claim to being the only living soul who didn’t weaken at the knees at the site of a chocolatey, creamy cookie and a big glass of cold milk. Well, friends. That’s ALL over. I ate one ("Just a taste…") and all bets were off. Shamefully, I had to go out and buy more Oreo’s because I ate too many out of my baking stash. Whoops! Since then, it’s been a challenge of mine to get them into anything….namely my mouth.
This biscotti is a bit indulgent, I admit. It probably doesn’t need the Oreo’s since biscotti is already a cookie…but… you know… just eat them in moderation, ok!? These little babies are rich and chocolatey and begging to be dunked in milk or a hot cup of coffee. And despite their indulgent nature, they are almost completely made of whole wheat flour. That counts for something, doesn’t it? I’m sure whole wheat cancels out butter and sugar….or something like that. Make ‘em, eat ‘em and then eat ‘em again.
We know each other, you and I, don’t we? You could probably even call us ‘friends’ by now, right? I share my deepest darkest secrets with you and in return, you listen, hungrily & wide-eyed, while I do. I think we’ve built up a fair amount of trust in our time together, haven’t we? I thought you might feel the same. And I’m so glad.
You may recall I’ve told you, not once, twice or even thrice… but many times, that I am just not a sweets-person. Salty, crunchy, savoury, cheesy…. those are my homies. And to them, I will always be true. Through thick and thin[-cut bacon].
On occasion, rare occasion, I try something that restores my faith in the land of all things sugar. And in the case of these Biscotti, the ones I’m eating right this second [… and ate this morning for breakfast, and last night for a snack, and one fresh out of the oven] have roused my one lowly sweet-tooth from a useless mundane existence. If I do have a sweet-treat, it’s one or two of something I’ve made to share that I just can’t serve without taste-testing. Mr. GL usually reaps the benefit of those batches. But this time, with these sparkly, cinnamon-sugar dusted Italian cookies, I find myself shooting gluttonous, devouring glances his way every time he reaches for that bag. I consider them mine. ALL mine. And God help anyone who stands between me and them.
When I tell you they are perfect, warm spiced and crumbly, speckled throughout with toasted pecans and crisp around the edges with a layer of baked-on cinnamon sugar… I need you to trust me. They are simply magnificent. Not too sweet, making them easy to, unconvincingly, pass off as a breakfast food, but sweet enough to satisfy that evening craving for just a little treat. Dunked into coffee, or as I’ve become accustomed, in my earl grey, they barrel past my old standby and have quickly become my most favourite sweet-treat. It should also be said that they taste just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, which I became very closely acquainted with as a child. Trust me, friends. Just trust me. You will want these on Christmas morning while you sip your coffee and baileys.
Cinnamon-Sugar & Toasted-Pecan Biscotti
adapted from Joy the Baker
2 cups All Purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4-1/3 cups toasted pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325. And cover two baking sheets in parchment paper. Arrange oven racks to top and bottom third of the oven.
In a medium sized bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.
In you stand mixer or a bowl with hand-mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula. Add 1 whole egg and the extra egg yolk and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl again. Add the vanilla and 1/2 the dry mix. Stir briefly and add the rest of the dry ingredients and the pecans. Scrape the bowl and give it one more quick mix.
Pour half the dough onto each baking sheet and form into logs (2-2 1/2” wide) pressing down a touch.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping.
Brush the logs with remaining egg whites and sprinkle,GENEROUSLY with cinnamon-sugar. Put one sheet in the upper-third of the oven and one in the lower. Bake for 20 minutes and then switch the pans. Bake for another 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool until you’re able to handle the logs. Once cool use a serrated knife to carefully slice 1/2” thick slices from the log. Place Biscotti cut side down on baking sheet and sprinkle again, very generously, with cinnamon-sugar. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown all over. Cool and then cram as many into your greedy little gob as you possible can.
One final word to the wise; you’ll hide these from everyone in your house if you know what’s good for you.