I mentioned in an earlier post on Chocolate Cherry Protein Balls that I love cookies. I don’t make them often, because I will eat them all, but also because there’s a frightening amount of sugar in every cookie recipe. Without the sugar, it’s really not a cookie. Unless, of course, it’s a biscotti! Traditionally, Italians don’t really use a lot of sugar in these little cookies, because they intended for them to be dipped in wine. An Italian biscotti just might be the answer to my cookie dilemma. I want something to satisfy a sweet tooth without all the sugar. Something to dip in a nice cup of tea in the evening with out any of the guilt. If you’ve ever felt like that, then by all means, read on.
Because biscotti doesn’t have a lot of sugar in the first place, I can easily substitute honey, which I think is super, and I don’t have to buy anything special to do it. This simple, double bake cookie doesn’t take a lot of effort. If you’ve never attempted a biscotti recipe because the double bake process seems time consuming, don’t worry. The way I figure it, time in the oven is time I can spend doing other things.
I know some of you might be thinking “black pepper in biscotti?” When I was doing my research about flavor pairings to go with cherries, it kept coming up. I was reluctant, but excited. If it worked, it would be amazing. If it didn’t, well, it would just be a case of trial and error. Luckily it turned out brilliant. I would best compare this to how chocolate and chili peppers pair well in a dessert or hot chocolate…or a mole sauce. The pepper is mild and leaves the mouth with the slightest taste of spice. In a crumbly cookie, the pairing of spice, nuts and cherries is simply delightful.
Cherry Almond and Black Pepper Biscotti
- 1/4 cup butter softened
1/3 cup honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tsp of vanilla or bourbon
zest of 1 orange
Cream the butter and the honey together until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and orange zest and beat until well combined.
- 1 1/2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour (or regular whole grain flour)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, except for the cherries and nuts. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two parts, until just combined. Fold in the nuts and cherries. Place the dough on a clean dry surface with a little flour. Separate the dough into 2 equal parts.
Make 2 flat logs out of the dough (if the dough is a little sticky add a Tbsp or 2 of flour), approximately 6-8″ long, 4″ wide and 3/4″ high, depending on your preference for the look of the biscotti. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Slice the cooked dough into 3/4 inch slices.
Using a sharp knife will keep the dough from crumbling. Place the sliced cookies back onto the cookie sheet and return them to the oven. Bake at 350 F for another 20 minutes. Remove the biscotti from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Store the biscotti in a well sealed sealed container for up to a week.