Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sesame Orange Biscotti

I had some sesame seeds that I bought in anticipation of making sesame tofu on a regular basis; unfortunately, I decided subsequent to buying them that sesame tofu was too much hassle to add to my “regular meal rotation” repertoire. Which left me with lots of sesame seeds in need of consumption.

[Cue joke about hamburger buns and their inutility chez nous, where I don’t eat red meat and the husband eats no meat.]

I wanted to make something that would use up all of my sesame seeds (about a cup) but wouldn’t require me to purchase more sesame seeds, which would just add insult to injury. Cookies seemed the thing to try, but it was surprisingly hard to find a cookie recipe that would use the requisite amount of sesame seeds.

I finally decided to make biscotti, using the sesame in place of almonds or other nuts. This recipe is loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen here.

These are really delightful. They have a pretty pronounced sesame flavor that meshes perfectly with the orange, vanilla, and whiskey. The anise and sesame are especially complementary. I used to have a passionate hatred of anise and anise-containing baked goods, but now I can’t get enough of them. Of course, the anise could be omitted should you share my former biases.

Sesame Orange Biscotti

3 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar
10 tablespoons (1 ¼ cups) unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (I just used triple sec)
1 tablespoon whisky
1 teaspoon anise seed
zest of one orange (approx. 1 tablespoon)
1 cup sesame seeds
1 large egg white

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter – I used the microwave. Add sugar, vanilla, orange liqueur, whiskey, orange zest, and anise. Beat in eggs. In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt (I just stirred them). Add dry ingredients to wet.

Divide dough into two equal-sized logs approx. 2 ½” wide and 13” long. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them at least 2” apart. Whisk egg white and brush over tops of logs. (I forgot to do this, and they came out fine.) Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan set atop cooking rack, about 25 minutes.

Slice into ½” logs and place cut-side down onto baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes on one side; flip over and bake another 8 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.

I have an oven that runs absurdly hot, so I found that 10 minutes on one side and 6 on the other was enough for me, but that’s probably flukish. Just know your oven!

Printable recipe here.

The above biscotti was mere moments away from splashing headlong into the foregrounding cup o' jasmine tea. It was still good, albeit soggier than I would have preferred. And no, I don't usually bake this much over the weekend.

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