Carob Almond Biscotti

25 Sep

Raise your hand if you’re a chocoholic.

Mom….your hand had better be raised.

Women are supposed to love chocolate. More than…ahem…activities that shall remain nameless.

As for myself, I like chocolate, yes. VERY much. Do I love it? Meh. It takes a lot more than chocolate to get my motor running.

Maybe it’s because I still don’t consider myself a woman. Not even a lady. Not yet anyway….maybe one day.

But wait. Would I want to live in a world without chocolate? Never. I couldn’t do it. I like chocolate. It makes things really, really tasty. I like the option of chocolate.

So what about those that can’t eat chocolate? Oh, they’re out there. Poor people. Poor people who can’t eat chocolate chip cookies, or brownies, or dip strawberries in it. I’ve come across a few. Living their lives, chocolate free….some even alcohol free. OH the humanity.

Carob. That is the alternative for chocolate. It’s what these poor saps have to turn to. At least, that’s what I thought. Until I actually TRIED carob. Um…..delicious!

Carob is naturally sweet, chocolate-like when roasted, contains as much Vitamin B as asparagus or strawberries; as much niacin as lima beans, lentils, or peas; and more Vitamin A than eggplant, asparagus, and beets. It also contains Vitamin B2, calcium, magnesium, potassium, small amounts of iron, manganese, chromium, copper, and nickel. It contains protein and is a good source of fiber. Compared to chocolate, carob is three times richer in calcium, has one third less calories and SEVENTEEN times less fat. TAKE THAT chocolate….pffff!

I’m addicted, and I’m baking up a storm with it. I used it in some banana bread,

“chocolate” chip cookies,

and now, in powdered form: carob almond biscotti.

Oh, I also used Marcona almonds. They’re of Spanish origin; shorter, rounder and sweeter than your average almond. But no biggie.

Let’s just say I’ve been eating way too many-a-biscotti these days. This recipe doesn’t contain butter though, so, I’m pretty ok with it.

Biscotti is so much easier to make than I had originally imagined years ago. I always like to have some on hand. Perfect for giving away too.

Make cookie logs….check

Bake, let cool slightly, then slice. And bake again. (Oh I know, so complicated)

Oh, p.s. Notice the flour on there? This is a very wet dough. I thought it was going to turn out really badly, but turns out you just need a little patience and a little sprinkling of flour. Ok. A lot of sprinkling.

See those end pieces? You COULD bake them….or you could eat them while the rest bake. Just putting that out there.

Lookit. I made biscotti!

Carob Almond Biscotti

adapted from the Gourmet Cookbook

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 cup carob powder

scant 1 cup organic cane sugar (I love that word. It’s so awkward and not helpful in the least, exact measurement wise)

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup oddly chopped almonds

1 large egg beaten with one teaspoon of water, for an egg wash (optional. I didn’t, but you can. Easy)

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla and honey and mix with an electric mixer at medium speed until dough forms. Add almonds and mix at low speed.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead several times. (or at least try to) Halve dough. Using floured hands, form each half into a slightly flattened 13-by-2-inch log on baking sheet, spacing logs about 3 inches apart. Brush logs with egg wash.

Bake until golden 25 to 30 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet on a rack for 10 minutes. (Leave oven on. Rocket science….)

With a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange slices, cut side down in one layer on a baking sheet (it’s fine if slices touch each other). Bake, turning once, until golden and crisp, 20-25 minutes. Transfer biscotti to racks to cool.

Store in an airtight container. My apartment made them not so crisp anymore. This made me sad.

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