Once upon a time, I wanted to bake something sweet.
(Oh, who am I kidding? I usually want to bake something sweet at least twice, if not thrice*, a day.)
I started running through various recipe ideas in my head, but everything I thought of I discounted immediately because I’d made and blogged about something similar already. Muffins, cookies, granola, slices, loaf cakes… been there, done that. Ho-hum.
Then I remembered a favourite recipe of mine which could plausibly be categorised as a new type of baked good on this blog: Spiced Pine Nut Biscotti. Sure, biscotti is technically a type of cookie, but what’s in a name? Didn’t some fourteen-year-old flibbertigibbet once say something about a rose and smelling as sweet**? I thereby proclaim that, on this day, biscotti ≠ cookie***.
At this point, I should admit that there’s something a little odd about me, and this oddness had an impact upon my biscotti-making. See, I absolutely refuse to let a day go by without there being peanut butter, oatbran, and chilli flakes in my pantry, yet for all my love of baking, I almost never have eggs in the house. Or, to be more precise, in Smurf Kitchen.
I’d like to think that this egg-dearth relates to the small part of me that longs to be vegan. Unfortunately, my wannabe-vegan side is currently being drowned out by the part of me obsessed with eating paté on toasted english muffins. Sigh.
Anyhoodle, the point of the previous digression is that I veganised my biscotti recipe by using ground flax mixed with water instead of an egg. However, I think this is what caused the biscotti to be really difficult to slice after its first baking. After having my first few thin slices barely hold together, I gave up and starting hacking hefty chunks off the loaf. I crossed my fingers and hoped everything would come up roses in the end. (‘Cause, remember, metaphorical roses always smell sweet.)
And you know what? It did. I quite liked that I ended up with stumpy-yet-hearty biscotti. In addition, I found a pile of cookie and pine-nut crumbles on the chopping board after my slicing extravaganza, which were happily eaten up while the biscotti slices succumbed to their second baking.
Long story short? These sweetly-spiced, nutty biscotti nubbins of delight are rather dandy, either on their own or dipped into hot, strong, dark, black coffee for afternoon tea.
Come to think of it, would you like to come over for a cuppa? I’ll just pop the kettle on.
Spiced Pine Nut Biscotti
- 1 tb flaxmeal mixed with 3 tb water (or one egg)
- 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
- 3/4 cup (110g) plain flour, sifted
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup (120g) pine nuts
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Whisk together the flaxmeal/egg and sugar in a large bowl, then stir in the flour, spices, and baking powder. Lastly, fold in the pine nuts. (Easy-peasy, right?) When the mixture has come together, divide dough in half.
- Shape each half into a log, and place one on each baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, then slice into 1cm thick slices. Lower oven temperature to 140°.
- Arrange slices back on baking trays, then back for about 15 minutes, turning once halfway through. Honestly, just bake the biscotti until they reach your desired level of golden crispiness. Mmm, sweet nutty golden crispiness…
* Full disclosure: I really just wanted an excuse to say “thrice”.
** Shakespeare reference. In other words: WOOT.