Chocolate Dipped Polenta Biscotti with Amaretto and Anise

polenta biscotti

The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to start making some cookies! Each year I love to bake a few different kinds of biscotti, this year these polenta biscotti will make an appearance.

Biscotti are so nice to have around when people stop by to visit, they store very well when baked early on during the holidays and hardly ever lose their crunch factor.

Speaking of crunch factor, these particular biscotti have the addition of fine granules of polenta incorporated into the dough which results in a rustic and crunchy texture.

Almost eleven years ago on this blog I did a post on polenta biscotti but since then I have upgraded both my photos and added a little twist to the original along with more detail for you, so this is my revised version.

biscotti ingredients

As well as the polenta, anise seeds are crucial to this recipe along with a light touch of amaretto liquor which can easily be replaced with almond extract if need be. You can adorn them with dark chocolate or not, but for the holidays and any special occasion or for gifting the dip of chocolate on one end makes for a prettier presentation, and it sure tastes good!

polenta biscotti

When the logs are finished baking it’s important to let them cool down completely before you slice them for the second baking.

I like slicing them on the diagonal and always use a serrated knife to make clean cuts. Often times I use an old fashioned electric knife that I have and it works wonders for slicing biscotti.

polenta biscotti

After you’ve baked the individual slices again make sure they are completely cooled before you start to dunk them into the pool of melted chocolate. After dipping just the one end and while the chocolate is still warm, immediately scatter some sliced almonds over the top so they can stick as the chocolate starts to cool.

polenta biscotti

Leave them on parchment then stick them into the fridge for maybe fifteen minutes so the chocolate can set.

polenta biscottipolenta biscotti

I like to store mine in pretty boxes or tins, preferably rectangle shaped so that they fit nicely, with layers of wax paper in between, just keep them in a cool place and they’ll be fine.

polenta biscotti

Whether you gift this to someone you love or keep the stash for yourself these polenta biscotti are so worth making!

polenta biscotti

Get the coffee going, grab a biscotti and enjoy the season!

Follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

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Chocolate Dipped Polenta Biscotti with Amaretto and Anise
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups un-bleached all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of instant polenta granules
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of anise seeds
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup of sliced almonds plus extra for garnishing chocolate
  • 10 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons of amaretto liquor or ½ teaspoon of almond extract
  • dark chocolate chips for melting
  • ¼ teaspoon of vegetable shortening to smooth out the chocolate when melting
Instructions
  1. Melt butter, set aside. Heat oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl add the flour, polenta, baking powder, anise seed and almonds. Whisk by hand to incorporate.
  3. In a smaller bowl with a hand mixer, beat the sugar with the melted butter and get it throughly mixed, then add in one egg at a time still mixing until light and fluffy, then add the amaretto and combine.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet mixing with hand beater to get it all incorporated so you're able to form your logs.
  5. If you see some dry crumbles add a tiny bit of milk and gather up the dough.
  6. Once dough is nice and smooth form it into two logs, 9x4 around ¾ inch thick.
  7. Place both logs onto a rimmed parchment lined baking sheet, make sure to flatten down the tops of the logs gently.
  8. Bake logs at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven, then let them cool completely before slicing.
  9. When it's time to slice them, cut on the diagonal being careful with a serrated or electric knife.
  10. Place the slices down on one side and bake them for 5 minutes.
  11. Take them out after 5 minutes, flip them over on the other side, put them back in the oven and bake for another five minutes.
  12. Take them out to check for desired golden color, I did mine for one more additional 5 minutes, ovens vary and so does every ones crunch factor.
  13. Let them cool completely before dunking into chocolate.
  14. MELTING CHOCOLATE
  15. Place some of the chocolate into a microwave proof cup, along with the bit of shortening and check in 20 second increments until its melted, check and stir. You may need to melt more, but a little goes along way.
  16. Take one end of your biscotti and dunk it into the chocolate and immediately onto parchment paper, then scatter your nuts on top.
  17. When finished dunking all your biscotti place them into the fridge for 15 minutes so the chocolate can set.
  18. Enjoy!
  19. This can be stored in tin cans or boxes in between layers of wax paper for a few weeks, if they last that long.

 

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Cappuccino Biscotti

cappuccino biscotti Tis the season to start your Christmas baking! Each year you can count on me to make my two favorite biscotti,  Fig and Pistachio and traditional Anise flavored. Biscotti are wonderful crunchy treats to have on hand when friends and family stop by and you need a little something to go with your coffee.

cappuccino biscotti This year I wanted to add another one to my list especially since I have a deep love for all things coffee, so I decided to make Cappuccino Biscotti.  How could I resist, these crunchy little gems have two of my favorite ingredients, espresso and Kahlua liqueur, plus pecans and mini chocolate chips!

cappuccino biscotti dough The dough comes together quick, one bowl with no mixer, which really appeals to me.  Form your logs, place on parchment, bake, then let them cool down before slicing.

cutting biscotti Have I told you how awesome it is to slice your biscotti with an electric knife? This was a tip my sister-in- law gave me a few years ago and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Don’t get me wrong you can still use a serrated knife, but you have to go nice and easy and you might get more crumbles if you have a lot of fruit and nuts inside,  but if you have an electric knife in your pantry somewhere, dust it off and give it a try, I promise you will use it every time, it makes a beautiful sharp clean cut and the slicing process goes really fast!

twice baked cappuccino biscottikahlua and biscotti Since I had the kahlua out I mixed myself up a vintage Kahlua and cream like I use to drink in the old days. Wow, I forgot how good it was, and the biscotti was  the perfect compliment!

cappuccino biscotti and espresso But I still think the absolute best way to enjoy these is when they’re sitting alongside a nice cup of hot coffee or espresso.

Happy Baking!

Cappuccino Biscotti
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp instant espresso
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup of mini chocolate chips, semi sweet
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tblsp kahlua liqueur
  • ½ cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl combine sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and instant espresso, use a pastry cutter to blend in the cold butter until the mixture is fine and crumbly.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips, pecans, eggs and Kahlua until dough gets nice and moistened, knead on a floured surface until dough is soft and slightly sticky.
  4. Divide dough into quarters and with floured hands shape each quarter into a 9" long roll. Place 2 rolls 4" apart on each baking sheet. Gently flatten each log into a 2' wide slab.
  5. Bake in oven for 15 to 30 minutes, mine took 15 but check to make sure the tops of the slabs are firm and dry and watch bottoms so they don't burn.
  6. Remove and reduce oven to 325F, set the slabs on a rack to cool down for about 10 minutes.
  7. Cut slabs crosswise into ½ " thick slices. Place slices cut side down on baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes, turn them over to the other side and bake another 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer to rack to cool down completely. Store in cookie tins.
  9. RECIPE ADAPTED FROM CRUMB; A FOOD BLOG

 

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Tis The Season To Be Baking!

By now you’re probably deep into baking all your favorite holiday treats, pulling out recipes you haven’t made in a year or so. I started my baking last week, placed them in pretty tins ready to give away and share with family and friends. Here is a few of the things I baked so far.

Traditional ANISE BISCOTTI, it’s a huge favorite of my husband and brother-in-law, they love that sweet licorice taste of the anise. These biscotti are perfect for dunking in your coffee or espresso and great to have on hand when someone stops by.

To get that true anise flavor I always use anise oil instead of the extract and along with that I also mix in some anise seed, the oil is really strong so you don’t need very much but the flavor and smell lingers forever (or as long as your biscotti last,) in fact there’s still a lingering aroma of anise inside my house and I finished baking them a week ago!

The dough comes together very quickly it’s the baking that will take you the longest since you have to twice bake them. After first baking your logs you want to make sure they cool down before you cut into them for that second baking otherwise you’ll have a pile of crumbs. I use a heavy serrated knife to cut through mine, but I just recently got a great tip from my sister-in-laws from Florida, they cut their biscotti with an electric knife! Isn’t that a great idea? I’ll be on the lookout for electric knife for next year.
The great thing about biscotti is that they last weeks after you bake them and they taste just as good as the first day, if properly stored. I like to put mine in tin cans layered between wax paper, they stay all nice and crunchy that way!

ANISE BISCOTTI

Ingredients


5 cups unbleached flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of softened butter (2 sticks)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon of anise oil, or 2 tablespoons of anise extract
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of anise seed
Nuts are optional, I would use 1 cup of sliced almonds for this recipe

Directions
Sift dry ingredients together, including the anise seed. Set aside. In a large bowl with a mixer beat butter, sugar, until fluffy, add eggs one at a time along with the anise oil or extract. Add flour mixture and beat on low until blended. Divide mixture into 4 parts. Each part becomes a log measuring around 2 1/2 inches by 9 or 10 inches long. Place logs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 25 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Remove from the oven and let them cool down on a rack. Carefully cut them 1/2 inch thick, turn each piece on their side and bake on each side for 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
Makes around 75 biscotti depending on size.

If you were to ask me what my personal favorite biscotti was I would have to say it would be this FIG and PISTACHIO version. Dried fig with just a hint of orange and anise flavors the crunchy biscotti that is studded with pistachio’s. You can’t beat this with a warm cup of espresso on the side, every bite is so full of flavor! If you like figs you will love these!
I’ve shared them on my blog before, so if you’re craving these crunchy goodies you can check out the recipe here.

Next up is PUFF COOKIES, I make them every year and I always will, they remind me of my mom and aunt. You’re probably familiar with these almost every nationality has their own version of them, also known as Mexican Wedding cookies, but to me and my family they’ll always be Puff Cookies!

Like puffs of snow these rich and buttery cookies just melt in your mouth, great as a gift in a pretty tin or just placed on a platter for any special occasion, either way they will be most appreciated. I also shared these on my blog way back when I first started blogging, you can find the recipe here.

And finally, I always like to put a new cookie into the mix, well new for me anyway. I’ve tasted RICOTTA COOKIES before but I haven’t ever made them myself until I saw Claudia’s version over at Journey of an Italian Cook. Poor thing she lives in Minnesota and just got hit by that big blizzard recently, stuck in the house she’s been cooking and baking up a storm! (no pun intended). I’m sure her family has been very grateful for the snowfall!

These cookies are truly addictive, the taste and the texture is perfect, not to sweet, just right!

Please, go out and get some ricotta, you still have time to make these and add them to your cookie tray, I promise you won’t regret it!

I’m sending you over to Claudia’s blog to get the recipe, the only thing I changed up was that I doubled the lemon zest in the batter, and then for the glaze, instead of 1 teaspoon of vanilla I did 1 teaspoon of lemon extract and more fresh lemon zest. I had a lemon theme going on and it went wonderful with the ricotta flavor, I will make these over and over again and so will you!
Happy Baking, and Buon Appetito!

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Fig and Pistachio Biscotti

packaged biscottiIt’s that time of year again. and baking is in full force! Are you ready to bake some biscotti? I think you’ll love these fig and pistachio biscotti. The blending of fig with a hint of warm anise and orange makes this biscotti flavor such a winner, not to mention the pistachio nuts!

I would encourage you to double or triple the recipe so you can give them out as gifts to friends, family and neighbors.

Biscotti keep very well so you can make them in advance. I like to store mine in boxes or cans with wax paper in between the layers.

 

baked biscotti
Biscotti are twice baked, crunchy and perfect for those that dip them into coffee, espresso or milk, I’m personally not a dipper, I prefer the crunch all the way!
You’ll love how your house smells when they’re baking, the aroma lingers for days!
chopped figs
Just be sure to pulse your dried figs in a food processor to resemble the size of small peas, and be sure to cut off the hard tips before doing that. Of course you can always chop them up by hand, if you have the patience.
dough log
I like to measure the logs with a ruler, 9×2 inches is what you’re aiming for, but if you like a bigger biscotti size, go for it!
baked biscotti logs
Out of the oven and cooling down!
cut biscotti
Twice baked and ready for ( sampling first) boxing up!
boxed biscotti
There are so many pretty holiday or special occasion boxes, I’m always on the search for them and keep them stashed away.

fig and pistachio biscottiedible gift
These smaller containers I thought would be perfect for a neighbor gift this year ( ordered them on QVC) they can keep the container and reusable bag.
I’ll be making my deliveries soon so they can enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Fig and Pistachio Biscotti
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dried figs like kalamata, measured after pulsed in food processor to the size of peas (remove tips of figs before pulsing as they are hard and inedible)
  • 2¼ cups of all purpose flour, unbleached
  • 1½ t. baking powder
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. anise extract (NOTE: if using anise oil only use ¼ t. or a tiny bit more if you like it)
  • 1 t. anise seeds
  • 1t. grated orange zest
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios, unsalted
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350F
  2. With your mixer beat butter and sugar on medium high until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, extract or oil, zest and anise seeds, beat til light and creamy.
  4. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and then incorporate into the butter mixture.
  5. Add figs and nuts on low speed til combined.
  6. Place all the finished dough from mixing bowl onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Form two 9x2 inch logs apart from each other and bake until lightly browned. Watch your oven, mine took less than 25 minutes.
  8. Remove pan from oven and let it cool for 20 minutes, otherwise they will crumble when cut.
  9. Using a serrated knife, take your time and slowly cut logs into ½ inch thick slices.
  10. Arrange biscotti on their sides on the baking sheet.
  11. Return to oven and bake until nicely golden, for around 5-6 minutes, then flip them over and do the other side, another 5-6 minutes or until it reaches the golden color you like. Ovens do vary.
  12. The longer the second bake the crispier they will be.
  13. Cool on rack.
  14. Makes somewhere around 40

 

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Polenta Biscotti

Next time you’re making biscotti, toss a little polenta into the mix, and what you’ll get is a firm and crunchy texture that has a nice rustic flavor, and I have to say, they are ideal for dunking!

Now myself, I’m not really a dunker, I prefer to keep my coffee, free of any crumbs, and I don’t like it when my biscotti gets all mushy! I prefer it crunchy all the way!!

On the other hand, my hubby is a major dunker, and so is his brother, and let me tell you when those two get together and dunk a bunch of biscotti, lets just say, in the end, the inside of their coffee cups are not a pretty sight!

I got this recipe while searching the net, and although I loved the ingredients, I wasn’t crazy with the method of cooking it. They wanted you to cook the log and then refrigerate it for 12 hours!!
That wasn’t going to happen, and besides I never made biscotti where I had to wait for 12 hrs. in between!

So here’s my tweaked version!

INGREDIENTS:

4 Cups of Un-Bleached All purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Polenta
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Aniseed
3 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Sliced Almonds
10 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
2 Teaspoons of Sambuca or Amaretto Liquor

In a bowl combine the flour, polenta, baking powder, aniseed, and almonds, set aside.

In another bowl, beat sugar with melted butter till light fluffy, blend in eggs one at a time, then add your liquor.

Form a log, or two, that’s slightly flattened and place on a greased, or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350F, for 20 to 30 min’s, depending on your oven. It should have a nice golden color. Cool completely.

When completely cooled, cut slices diagonal, about 1/2 inch thick, place back on the baking sheet cut side down for 6 to 10 min’s, then flip them over for another 5. Ovens do very, and so does a preference for crunchiness, so cook them according to your likeness. They do get cruncher as they cool down. Store in an airtight container.

I dipped some in melted chocolate, but most of them I left plain. I would definitely make these again!

Buon Appetito! and Have A Great Weekend!

I’ll be busy making homemade ravioli’s with the family, which I’ll be sure to post about!

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