Cornmeal and Olive Oil Biscotti with Pine Nuts and Dried Cherries

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your day is filled with lots of joy and happiness (but most importantly, tons of delicious food!) Instead of the typical pecan cookies or chocolate and peppermint cookies, I thought that a biscotti would be a wonderful thing to wake up to on a cold December morning. I’ve never made a biscotti before, so trying something new from Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy sounded especially interesting to me.

Biscotti is not like a cookie or sliced cake, mainly because it is baked twice. The first time, you shape the dough into a log and bake it just until it gets a cake-like texture, and then you slice them and re-bake them so they get the signature crunch that they lend themselves to so well. This is an American style biscotti, as Mommy the chef told me, and the difference is in the ingredients. While the Italian one uses almond flour and honey, the American one uses all-purpose flour instead. Interesting, right? Either way, I hope you enjoy this not-so-typical twist on a widely enjoyed breakfast treat.

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Cornmeal and Olive Oil Biscotti with Pine Nuts and Dried Cherries

Ingredients

  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (3.67 ounces) cornmeal
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 (4.625 ounces) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk together thoroughly.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper, eggs, and lemon zest on high speed for 3-4 minutes, until lightened in color and slightly thickened.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture. The batter will be thick and sticky. Stir in the pine nuts and cherries. Scrape the batter down the center of the prepared pan and spread it to form a flat rectangle 14 to 15 inches long and 5 inches wide.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the loaf is golden on top and golden brown at the lower edges. Rotate the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the pan on a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Leave the oven on, turning it down to 325 degrees.
  6. Transfer the loaf carefully to a cutting board. If you used a liner, slide a metal spatula under the loaf to detach and remove the liner. Use a thin sharp knife to cut the loaf crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Transfer the slices to the unlined cookie sheet, standing them at least 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges and tops of the biscotti turn slightly golden. Rotate the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Set the pan on a rack. Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing. May be kept in an airtight container for at least 2 weeks.

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