Archive | July, 2010

pecan-cappuccino biscotti (or: a love song to that which i hate)

28 Jul

something about biscotti just rubs me the wrong way. could it be its rock hardness or its impossible to chewness?  or perhaps the fact that every time i crunch down on one i feel like a beaver gnawing on a hunk of sweet flavored wood?  one day i will crack a tooth–i just know it.  i will bite down, hoping upon hope that this time it will be different, this time the rock will give way to cookie, but instead a large “craccck” will sound and my tooth will split in two. i will raise my fist in consternation, adapting my best angry grandpa face, and shake with a fury generally reserved for delinquent children running through flower beds and dogs pooping in yards.  my voice will magically age 60 years as i warble out a string of choice curses.

apart from my fear of a toothless future, biscotti just annoys me on principle. because as we all know, it is perfectly appropriate, and might i add the american way, to hate that which we dont understand.  biscotti, i hate you, because i dont understand you.  and im okay with that.  but no, really, why were you created?

now, dont get all biscotti-activist on me.  dont try to tell me it is lovely for dunking or is great for sharpening your teeth.  biscotti is not the only victim to fall prey to my irrational distaste.  it has plenty of company.  for instance, weve got:

1. ketchup: it coagulates, it splurts out with aggression, it attaches to your flesh and then you smell like it for the rest of your life.

2. the pet name “baby”: shudder. a thousand times shudder. apologies (sort of, not really) to those of you who fall in this category… but it feels way too humbert humbert.  yeh, i said it.

3. going to restaurants between 3-5 pm:  there is no one else there, wait staff stare at you and wonder why you had to interrupt their break (maybe that was just me?), and it is just a weird timeframe to publicly eat.

now that i have described my feelings to such an extent, you might be wondering why on earth i would have baked and therefore subjected myself to the displeasure of a rock in cookie-disguise.  this is because i am convinced that i can train myself to like anything with enough mental fortitude– the exceptions of course being the 3 things listed above, and anyone who suggests that david blaine is better than david copperfield.  also, i happened to have all of the ingredients in my pantry at the time, and i am all about convenience…so, ya know, there’s that.

pecan-cappuccino biscotti
from weight watchers: mix it, match it

what you’ll need:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsps instant espresso powder
2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees f. line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.

2. sift flour, cocoa, espresso, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. (here it is perfectly appropriate to sing that shake, shake, shake senora song from beetlejuice.)

3. whisk together the sugar, egg, and vanilla in another bowl.

4. add this to the flour mixture and stir until a dough forms. fold in pecans.

5. gather the dough with lightly floured hands and transfer to a lightly floured surface. roll into a log about 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches long. transfer your newly created log to the baking sheet and flatten gently until it is about 3/4 inch high. bake until firm to the touch, 20-25 mins.

4. transfer the log to a cutting board and cool for about 5 mins. with a serrated knife, cut into 12 1/4-inch slices. arrange these slices on the baking sheet.

5. reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees f. bake the biscotti for 10 mins, then turn over and bake until dried and slightly crisp (about 10 mins longer). transfer to a rack and cool completely. the biscotti will continue to dry out as they cool.

for those calorie counting, 1 biscotti is 94 cal or 2 ww points.

if you are looking for an adult chew toy, you can’t go wrong with this biscotti. i imagine if one actually liked biscotti, these would be quite enjoyable. the espresso really does give it a nice flavor.  they are on the small side however, which shocked me a bit since the photo in the cookbook made them appear giant… but honestly, the lengthy gnawing makes it take longer to eat anyways so they seem pretty large.  i can’t deny that i do appreciate food that tricks me into thinking i am getting more bang for my buck.