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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vanilla Bean Biscotti

Last night I was trying to find a recipe for something that would be good to use the vanilla beans my future-sister-in-law sent me. There are plenty of recipes for vanilla bean pudding, cupcakes, and frosting out there, but I wanted something that would ship well, because I wanted to send some of the creation to said sister-in-law as a thank you and Christmas gift.

I found the following recipe for biscotti on foodgawker from The Galley Gourmet ( This was my first attempt at making biscotti. I've only had biscotti a few times with mixed results, it either being too hard to bite or flavorless, but I thought I'd give it a try.

Wow. This stuff is good. Its light, crisp, rich with vanilla flavor, and melts beautifully in coffee or tea (I had a piece with my morning chai). I love it! 

I'm going to have to explore the biscotti world a little more!

Vanilla Bean Biscotti
makes about 30, depending on the thickness you cut them

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup white granulated sugar
6 tablespoons (3oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 long vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped using the back of a knife
1/4 cup Vanilla Sugar (sugar that has been stored with vanilla beans)

Preheat the oven to 325ยบ.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds until light in color and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, beating well.  Add the second egg and beat again.  Scrape down the sides.  Mix in the dry ingredients.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 12-inch long, 1 1/2-inch wide log (the dough will be very sticky... just do your best).  Transfer the logs to the baking sheet.  Bake until golden brown (dough will spread a lot), about 35-40 minutes.  The dough will be slightly soft to the touch.  Allow the dough to cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes.  Maintain the oven temperature.

Carefully transfer the logs to a cutting board.  Using a sharp or serrated knife, cut a sliver off each end (those can be nibbled on).  Cut the logs into 3/4 -inch wide diagonal slices.  Place the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheets.  Sprinkle evenly with the vanilla sugar.  Return to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes.  Biscotti will still be barely soft in the center, but they will harden as they cool.  Cool on the baking sheets.  Store in an airtight container for up to a week.  Enjoy!

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