Birthday cakes: they’re overrated. Much more interesting and alliterative to arrive at your friend’s house the day before her birthday with a tupperware of birthday biscotti. Biscotti will travel well, they suit both tea and coffee drinkers, and they don’t really allow for candles, which is great for friends who don’t excel at blowing them out. And this recipe is delicious.
These biscotti are so good. Pantry-based, the flavours are perfect for winter days, especially these post-Valentine’s days when you may be feeling a little (dare I say it?) overexposed to chocolate-based sweets. Think crispy exterior, chewy interior, a cinnamon-spiked sweetness that’s grounded by walnuts and balanced by citrus. Doesn’t that sound sophisticated and grown up? Sounds like perfect birthday biscotti to me.
Notes: 1) I used a lightly buttered baking tray in the absence of parchment paper, and while it worked out ok, there was some mangling as parts of the biscotti logs fixed to the baking trays during Step 4. (I was ok with that – I ate the mangled bits.) If you don’t have parchment paper, consider a generous buttering of your baking tray to avoid just that. 2) I like a thick biscotti, so I cut my slices 1 inch thick. The original recipe calls for thinner slivers at 1/4 inch, which would make more a more delicate option (and significantly more cookies!).
Cinnamon-Scented Fig and Walnut Biscotti
from One Sweet Cookie
1 cup walnut pieces, chopped
8 dried figs, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
grated zest of 1 large orange
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1. In a large bowl, stir together the walnuts, figs, flour, sugar, cinnamon, zest, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, use a fork to whisk the eggs and vanilla together until combined. Pour the eggs into the dry ingredients, and stir with the fork until the dough begins to cling to itself. Use your hands to bring the dough into a firm ball.
3. Place the dough onto a clear surface, and cut the ball into quarters. Roll each piece into a long about 1 inch wide. Place each log on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
4. Remove the baking tray from the oven, and allow the logs to cool there for 5 minutes before lifting them carefully to a cutting board. Slice each log into cookies about 1 inch wide. Return the slices to the baking tray, cut-side down. Bake for 8 minutes. Allow the biscotti to cool on a wire rack before serving.