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BiscottiBiscotti was on my brain for baking this weekend, but that is not the reason for this title…

The reason for the title is that while I baked biscotti I streamed Charlie Rose: The Brain Series.  The particular episode I chose to watch was on consciousness.  It was ideal as I had to be conscious of the timer going off in the kitchen and yet I could manage the baking, cutting, and baking some more and still enjoy Charlie’s guests, the amazing (I mean that!) Timothy Wilson, Nicholas Schiff, Stanislas Dehaene, Eric Kandel and Patricia Churchland.  I learned a lot and made this great treat and now if you haven’t gotten distracted and gone off to watch the Brain Series – here’s how you can do it too!  It is EASY!

Biscotti – Simple and Easy to Modify!

The recipe is from “allrecipes.com” but a similar one might be found in your favorite recipe book or by doing your own Google search.  There are ONLY 6 ingredients and the mixing takes just minutes.  Note that you can add fun stuff too get creative!!

Ingredients

½ cup vegetable oil 3 eggs
1 cup white sugar 1 Tablespoon baking powder
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flourI added craisins and finely chopped walnuts to 1/3 of the dough! 1 Tablespoon anise extract – or flavor of your choice.  I went with almond, but only used ½ a big T and it was perfect.

Directions

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Beat together oil, eggs, sugar and flavoring until well blended.  Combine flour and baking powder, stir into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough.  Divide dough into three pieces for biscotti that is about 4  inches wide – if you want the biscotti longer, divide dough into 2 pieces.  Form each piece into a roll as long as your cookie sheet. (I made the log shape in wax paper.) Then place on cookie sheet and press down to 1/2 inch thickness.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes (go watch your streaming video now!) until golden brown.  Cool on wire rack – I left mine on the air bake cookie sheet because I didn’t want to worry about it breaking, but eventually you have to slide it on to a cutting board to slice it.  When cool enough to handle, slice cross wise into 1/2 inch slices. Place these slices back on the cookie sheet and bake 6 – 10 minutes on each side.  Slices should be lightly toasted.

biscotti with craisins and walnutsIMG_4267See plain on left and biscotti with craisins and walnuts on right after toasting.  Let the biscotti cool completely – I waited until the next day, but that isn’t really necessary.

My toppings – I melted both dark chocolate and semi sweet chips (milk work too).  Dip flat side in melted chocolate and then let dry on wax paper or dip again in nuts.  I used almond slices for the plain biscotti and walnuts for the walnut and craisin variety.  You can place them in the fridge for faster setting, but it isn’t necessary.  It will just take a little longer to harden at room temperature.

These are fun, easy, beautiful.  Enjoy the photos below of the dipping process…

IMG_4269 Just chocolate IMG_4282 IMG_4284 IMG_4290On the left is the melted chocolate, almond slices and in both photos the pieces are drying chocolate face up.

For a smoother / flat finish you can also lay them dipped side down on the wax paper (left).  On the right is one of each variety – top to bottom – plain dried with chocolate up, plain dried with chocolate down (very smooth!), one with almonds and one with walnuts.  In the box on the left is what I’m taking to work in the morning.  I think I’ll skip breakfast and be sure I have a BIG coffee for dipping.  However, these are NOT so hard that they require coffee to consume them!  Try it – you like it!

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