I’ve never been much of a biscotti guy. That’s probably because I like my coffee iced, and so the appeal of the presumed hard and dry cookie was lost on me. Still, this whole blog is about exploration and trying my hand at common desserts and baked goods that I hadn’t attempted before. So I looked to King Arthur Baking’s recipe for Maple Walnut Biscotti. I’d originally intended to do their Coconut Biscotti first, but decided to start with this because the reviews were great. I also still had that bottle of maple syrup in the pantry from that Pumpkin Caramel Tart a few months ago, and so I wanted to put it to use.
Surprisingly, the recipe starts off by making a simple cookie dough. I didn’t know what to expect for biscotti, but surely didn’t think the dough would be that familiar. I mixed up the eggs, brown sugar and white sugar until combined, before adding in the maple syrup and melted butter. It goes without saying that you need to use pure maple syrup here because that weird artificial stuff will make your dough a bit funky. In a separate bowl, I whisked together the flour, baking powder and salt before adding that to the wet mix. Once combined, I added in the cooled, toasted walnuts and folded that in until dispersed. Now here’s where it gets weird. The dough gets divided in half and shaped into two rectangles on a sheet pan. It calls for 12 x 3 but really, mine wasn’t quite that size, yet still managed to turn out great. Wet hands are your friends here because the dough sticks worse than that one ex who won’t leave you alone. (They’re not worth it, trust me.) I smoothed over the top and gave it a sprinkling of raw sugar for added crunch. KAB’s recipe calls for maple flavoring and maple sugar, neither of which are available here. Simply skip the flavoring and use raw sugar on top instead- trust me, it works. I then baked it for about a half hour. In case you didn’t know, biscotti is derived from a Latin word that means “twice cooked” or “twice baked”. After that first round, let the cookie mounds cool for about ten minutes before transferring to a cutting board and slicing with a serrated knife. KAB recommends ½” sticks cut at a diagonal, but really you can make them as big as you want. Carefully place them back on the sheet and bake for another twenty minutes until firm.
I ran into a bit of a snag, but was thankfully able to recover. When I first cut into the cookie mound, I found the dough to be too soft. Therefore, my knife kept pulling at the near raw dough in the middle, leaving messy edges. I figured it simply just needed more time, so I stuck both of the mounds back in the oven for a couple more minutes. KAB gives you the option to either line the pan with parchment or simply grease it, but let me tell you, the parchment saved the bake entirely. I was able to flip the mound over and check the doneness by peeling away the paper- something you couldn’t really do if the pan wasn’t lined. Don’t stop baking them until the bottom is firm to the touch. Once that cooled again, I sliced it up far easier than before. I was able to get really clean cuts with minimal breaking- except for the ends which are really just there for your snacking. The flavor of these is amazing- with the maple mixing really well with the toasted nuts. It’s far tastier than some of the store bought biscotti I’ve had, and I certainly can see myself making this a lot. It’s not too sweet, meaning it’ll be great with some black coffee, or just eaten as is. The crunch is oh so satisfying. And if kept airtight, it will remain crunchy for weeks- if you don’t manage to eat it all the same day. I’d given some to family and one of my aunties admitted that she ended up eating her whole stash in one sitting while on a video call. If that’s not reason enough to make this, then I don’t know what is.
Full Recipe | Method from King Arthur Baking