Belinda followed me in an antique shop on Parramatta Road late one afternoon. It was getting chilly and the afternoon's long shadows had set in. We had snaked our way down towards the back of the shop dodging chair legs, protrusions, signs and dismembered mannequin heads and limbs. As we neared the back of the long shop I turned to her and said,
"Has it occurred to you that this is the perfect setting for a horror movie? Or that they might be murderers and anyone that makes it down here ends up disappearing?"
"Yes it did," she said nodding, her eyes wide. If we weren't trying to act so cool and nonchalant I'm sure we would have clutched each other our knees knocking as if we were in a Scooby Doo cartoon.
These biscotti are for friends like Belinda who follow you into a store even though you get a creepy feeling. She's a cookie lover from way back as am I. I tried some lemon and macadamia biscotti while overseas recently and I loved how crunchy delicious they were. Biscotti or cantuccini as they're also known means "twice baked" and they are those lovely Italian cookies ideal for dipping in a cup of coffee.
Original biscotti recipes use almonds but I liked the idea of lemon and macadamia that I decided to do a riff on that adding glace ginger and drizzling the crispy biscuits with melted white chocolate. Biscotti is dry but I find that the add-ins counter that.
I know I'm getting pushy lately with all of my pushy recipes (the ones that I really suggest that you make) but the winter months mean that I've become rather obsessed with perfecting baking recipes. If anyone needs a delicious accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee or is thinking about giving biscotti baking a go, I'd urge you to try these beauties. They also make the perfect gift too. My recipe does ask you to toast the nuts first and I find that with a waxy, oily nut like a macadamia, this makes them super crisp.
And they're best shared with a friend, perhaps with a cup of hot coffee or tea!
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your favourite cookie/biscuit for your break? Would you have these with coffee or tea? And do you ever get sudden creepy or eerie feelings coming over you?
Lemon, Ginger & White Chocolate Biscotti
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
Makes about 22 biscotti (depending on size)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Waiting time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes plus 20 minutes
- 2/3 cup caster or superfine sugar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon plain all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped*
- 2 tablespoons glace ginger, finely chopped
- 100g/3.5ozs white chocolate
*To toast macadamia nuts, bake in a 180C/350F oven for 10 minutes until roasted.
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 150C/302F. Line a tray with baking parchment. Beat the sugar, olive oil, zest and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add the egg until combined. Beat in the flour, baking powder, salt, macadamia nuts and glace ginger to form a dough.
Step 2 - Wet hands lightly and shape into two logs. Flatten the logs so that they are about 2 inches or 5 cms in diameter. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes on benchtop. Reduce the oven heat to 135C/275F.
Step 3 - Slice the logs diagonally to make individual biscuits and place cut side up. Bake in the oven again for 10 minutes and then turn over the biscotti and bake on the other side for another 5-10 minutes. They will harden up on cooling.
Step 4 - Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave. Take a knife and drizzle it back and forth over the side of the biscotti. Once the chocolate has set, you can also drizzle the top of the biscotti with chocolate. Too much chocolate is never a bad thing ;)