Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Baking Day

The foremost one is from Martha's pistachio biscotti recipe. The others are date.
 I was making biscotti variations to give for Christmas presents, and was searching for the perfect recipe.  I think the winner was a recipe my friend Martha gave me for biscotti with  pistachios and orange zest, made with lots of butter.  I had made nice ones with almonds, cranberries, anise – all the usual, and they were good, but Martha’s recipe was way the best.   In need of variety, I decided to make date and orange biscotti, given that I had lots of dates and lots of oranges.  I was hopeful, but when I tried them, they were a little on the yucky side.  Actually, not a little, but a lot!  I can’t give these as presents, I thought.  The only thing is to eat them myself.  Usually, I have one or at most two biscotti for my late night snack with my last cup of tea.   On day one, I almost had to choke them down, but by the third day, I quite liked them.  By the fourth day, I liked them a lot. Now I am not sure if they improved with age, or if they are an acquired taste which it took me several days to acquire.  Or maybe both.  Anyhow, here is the recipe.

Date Biscotti

2 cups (260 grams) flour,
1 tsp. baking powder,
1/8 tsp salt,
¾ cup (150 grams) sugar,
3 eggs,
1 tsp vanilla extract,
Zest from two oranges,
1 cup (160 grams) chopped dates.

Heat the oven to 300°, and prepare a  cookie sheet by lining it with parchment or using a Silpat.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt an set aside.  In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs together until soft and foamy.  Stir in the vanilla and orange zest. Fold in the dates and then the flour until just mixed.  Do not overbeat. 

On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into a log, about 10 inches long.  Transfer the log to the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until firm in the middle.  When done, let it cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then transfer it to a work surface, and cut into slices about 2 cm thick.  Cut on the diagonal for slightly longer biscotti*.  Bake the slices for about 10 minutes and then turn them over and bake for 10 more minutes.  Let them cool, and then store in an airtight tin.  

*Martha says that at this point, you can freeze biscotti, and then do the second baking when you are about to greet your guests.  Not having a roomy freezer, I have not tried this, but Martha knows everything, and is the world’s best cook, so I confidently pass the tip on. 


Laura said...

The nature picture is gorgeous!
I had a date shake while in Palm Springs once-it was yummy.

joannamauselina said...

Somehow, when I read "date shake," I must have been on a different page. What could that possibly be, I wondered, and then immediately realized that it was a milkshake and felt stupid!

Kosetta said...

Those look yummy! I wish I had the magic touch for baking and your picture is lovely, too!

Marta said...

I know Martha personally and can tell you that this is not true.
She has her moments.
Your biscotti look great.
The hen & chicks look so pretty. Mine froze or dried up so will have to wait til next year.

Marta said...

I just noticed there is no butter or olive oil. Does it work without it?

myrtle said...

Oh my! looks very delicious.=D
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