Today was a very rare day, in that my sister and I both had days off work and uni. With a jar of unopened applesauce that had been sitting in our pantry for quite some time, my sister turned to me and asked me to help her bake something. Not being able to refuse, I quickly found a basic recipe for applesauce biscotti and began pulling ingredients out of the cupboard, sprawling them across the countertop.
The days I get to cook with my sister are honestly some of the best. She asks questions and picks up on things that nobody else would, just so she has the best understanding. She listens carefully as well so the next time we bake and I quiz her, she actually surprises me on how well she remembers things. She is also quite the artist when it comes to decorating and I have occasionally asked for help when making cupcakes and cakes for people’s birthdays.
We were actually surprised with how yum these turned out, as the recipe appears to be reasonably healthy compared to other biscotti recipes I have tried. But beware! They are extremely addictive and didn’t even last one day in my household!
Similar to many baking recipes I try, you can always tweak the flavours to create whatever you like. For example, I found this simple ‘basic’ recipe (or ‘starter’ I like to call it) and then let my imagination run wild from there. The original biscotti recipe called for blanched almonds, however I decided to add flaked almonds, white chocolate and dates instead! You can add other dried fruits, different chocolate or different nuts, its really up to you and there is no right or wrong answer – it’s all delicious, I promise! 🙂
350g Plain White Flour, sifted
50g Desiccated Coconut
50g Almond Meal
1 tbsp Baking Powder
280g Smooth Apple Sauce
4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
200g Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 Cup Flaked Almonds
150g White Chocolate Bits
Handful of Dates, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius and line two trays with baking paper.
2. Combine the flour, coconut, almond meal and baking powder in a large bowl.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine the apple sauce, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla essence and whisk until smooth.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient and stir to combine.
5. Add the almond, dates and chocolate bits and mix until it is all evenly distributed.
6. Divide the mixture into two balls.
7. Knead each ball, on a lightly floured surface, for about 2 minutes until smooth. Shape each ball into a log. The length and width of your logs will determine your biscotti size. For a smaller biscotti, shape the log so that it is long and thin. For a longer biscotti make the log wider and shorter in length. Keep in mind, they do rise a bit still so they will expand!
8. Place each log on a baking tray and put into the hot oven for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
9. Once cooled slightly, cut the logs into biscotti pieces (using a bread knife works best!) If the pieces are too crumbly and begin to break, allow the log to cool further before cutting more.
10. Place the biscotti pieces back onto the baking trays and bake in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for 5 minutes. Then, simply flip them over and allow them to bake on the other side for another 5 minutes. They should be golden brown all over. If not, just cook them a tiny bit longer!
11. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy with a coffee or tea, if you can wait to make one!
*If you have trouble trying to understand how to shape and cut the biscotti, you can google ‘shaping biscotti’ and look at the images. It will give you a pretty good idea!