Monday, December 13, 2010

A Savory Biscotti

Last weekend some friends and I (along with Offspring 2) had a cookie baking extravaganza.  Which I'll be posting more about later.

To keep from going into sugar comas, we figured we should also have some lunch.  To go along with my soup (again, more later), I also made these...

Peppery, cheesy and crunchy enough to withstand a good soup soaking.  Definitely something I'll be making over and over again.  Actually had some for breakfast this morning, too.

I think the only thing I changed from the original recipe was adding all of the pepper into the mix ('cuz I wasn't readin' very closely).  So I ended up sprinkling more on top.  They are pretty peppery, so adjust if you need to.  Also, I used a Grana Padano cheese.  No particular reason.  It's just what I happened to have.

Make these.  Then make some soup.  Go on.  I'll wait.

Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti

1½ Tbs black peppercorns, ground
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
4½ ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (2¼ cups)
1½ sticks (¾ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk

Put oven racks and upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 2 cups of the cheese, and 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper in a large bowl. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk 3 eggs with milk and add to flour mixture, stirring with a fork until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and quarter dough. Using well-floured hands, form each piece into a slightly flattened 12-inch-long log (about 2 inches wide and ¾-inch high). Transfer logs to 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging logs about 3 inches apart.

Whisk remaining egg and brush some over logs, then sprinkle tops of logs evenly with remaining ¼ cup cheese and ½ Tablespoon ground pepper. Bake, rotating sheets 180 degrees and switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until logs are pale golden and firm, about 30 minutes total. Cool logs to warm on sheets on a rack, about 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300°.

Carefully transfer one warm log to a cutting board and cut diagonally into ½-inch-thick slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining logs, transferring slices to sheets. Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, 35 to 45 minutes total. Cool biscotti on baking sheets on racks, about 15 minutes.

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