Here are seven good reasons why you should make these easy biscotti recipes for the holidays. Not only are they a low fat treat, but these two easy recipes for Gingerbread Biscottis and Cranberry Pistachio Biscottis make a great gift if you add them to a bag and wrap it with a bow.
There's nothing like the smell of ginger wafting from the kitchen, or the colors of red and green that symbolize the holidays are coming.
Enjoy baking these two easy biscotti recipes for Gingerbread Biscottis and red and green Cranberry Pistachio Biscottis . They not only look good and taste great but are also a low fat way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Origin of Biscotti -- Not what you think
Starbucks has popularized biscottis as a crunchy crescent shaped cookie perfect for dipping into a steaming cup of coffee. Many people also associate biscottis with the Tuscany region of Italy, with the original biscotti dating back to Roman times. While expanding the Roman empire, soldiers needed to travel long distances and carry food with them which would not spoil. By baking biscottis twice, the moisture is naturally removed, and there is little opportunity for mold or bacteria to start growing. Hence, biscottis were the perfect food to pack for a long journey.
Fun Fact: In Latin "bis" means twice" and "cotti" means "baked" or "cooked".
Apparently, one Roman soldier remarked that biscottis would be edible for centuries. We recommend storing them in an airtight container for up to three weeks or in the freezer for up to three months. We haven't tried the century part yet!
Seven good reasons to make these easy biscotti recipes for the holidays
Much easier to make than they look!
You can impress your friends.
Low fat way to satisfy your sweet tooth (less than 2 grams of fat per serving)
Traditional biscottis had no butter or oil.
Because biscottis are baked twice, they are crunchy, firm and dunkable in tea, coffee, Chai or hot chocolate.
By baking your own biscottis, you can control the calories.
The two biscotti recipes I have shared below are delicious and flavorful and contain on average 66 calories per biscotti. Biscottis sold in stores and coffee shops can range from 110-220 calories per biscotti.
You can make them ahead of time.
They stay fresh and crunchy at room temperature for weeks. Remember the Romans!
Put in a little bag and add a bow for a homemade hostess gift.
Don't crumble so marvelous for mailing to a loved one far away.
You can be creative with a variety of taste flavors
Almond: most traditional
Cranberry and pistachio: colorful for the holidays
Your favorite flavor
Individual your biscotti with healthy add-ons
Nuts - provide protein and fiber
Dried Fruit - provide fiber and inflammation fighting antioxidants
Dark chocolate - provide inflammation fighting antioxidants
Hopefully, these seven reasons have motivated you to bake some biscottis this holiday season. Even if they haven't, bake some and let the compliments from friends and family inspire you. My friends tell me, "I can't believe you made them yourself -- they look so professional!"
Calories: 61, 1.5 g fat, 11 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g protein, 0.5 g dietary fiber
2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted pistachio nuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt, mixing well.
Add nuts and cranberries and mix on low speed so coated with flour mixture.
Add eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix well on low speed until well blended and begins to form moist clumps, about 2 minutes.
Dip hands in flour to prevent dough from sticking to your hands.
Divide dough in half. Knead slightly (10 seconds) and place on parchment paper.
Form each piece of dough into a log that is 2 inches by 12 inches and 1/2 inch thick. For best results, use a ruler to measure and form a rectangle. Place each dough log 3 1/2 inches apart on the parchment paper because each log will spread while baking.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops of the logs are cracked and the dough inside the cracks no longer looks wet. Leave oven on at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Allow the logs to cool about 15 minutes on the baking sheet.
Put logs on cutting board. With a serrated knife or electric knife, cut each log into 1/2 inch slice at a slight diagonal.
Place slices on baking sheet again with the cut side down. It's okay if they touch now because they will not spread.
Bake the biscottis again at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for another 5-10 minutes per side or until they are dried to your taste. At 5 minutes, they may still be chewy.
Allow the biscottis to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container or put 2-4 biscottis in a gift bag with a bow to give away.
Enjoy dipping into a cup of Chai, tea or coffee!
To add to your daily food intake just choose "Martha's Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti Recipe" under recipes.
Please share with us your favorite biscotti ad-on.
Calories: 71, 2 g fat, 12 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups white flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
6 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
Cooking tip: Find your ruler. Measure according to the dimensions below. You will be much happier with the final results that look professional!
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients of oil, sugar, eggs, and molasses.
Mix or sift together dry ingredients. To make sure the spices are mixed thoroughly, I mix all the spices and baking powder with just one cup of flour and add to the wet ingredients first. Mix well. Then, I add the rest of the flour and mix to form a stiff dough.
Divide dough in half. Lightly dust your hands with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Shape the dough into 2 equal sections 2" by 12" by 1/2" thick. Place on prepared cookie sheet about 3 1/2" apart to allow for expansion during baking.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until the top of the logs are cracked and dough inside the logs does not look wet.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
Place each log on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife or electric knife, cut the logs into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices.
Place sliced pieces back on cookie sheets and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until toasted and crispy.
Optional: Drizzle or dip in melted white chocolate for a more professional look.
Great for dipping in Chai, tea or coffee.
Adapted from AllRecipes.
To add to your daily food intake just choose "Martha's Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe" under recipes.
Please share with us your favorite biscotti ad-on.
Foods & Recipes->Grains & CerealsHolidays / Parties->Healthier Gift Ideas