Friday, April 26, 2013

Rosemary Orange Biscotti {Recipe}

Rosemary Orange Walnut Biscotti - recipe


'Biscotti' is an Italian word, meaning 'cooked twice'. Essentially, biscotti are toasted cookies, usually made in a long flat shape which are perfect for dunking. These flavorful little treats are your morning coffee's soulmates, but don't be afraid to try them to add a little crunch to some vanilla ice cream!

This is an original recipe, adapted from another original recipe of mine - these sweet Rosemary Orange Walnut Cookies that I made for Christmas. They were absolutely delicious... but are made with butter. When I made them, I remember thinking they would make amazing biscotti, and wishing I had made them a little healthier too. 

I have been cooking with grapeseed oil for several months now. It is a wonderful oil, with a neutral flavor, lower in monounsaturated fats than olive oil, and more Vitamin E per serving. I'll be honest though, the reason I bought it in the first place was for beauty purposes (I heard it is an excellent moisturizer and helps minimize fine lines around the eyes. More on that another time!). But after running out of olive oil, I began using it in the kitchen as well and enjoy it in homemade salad dressings and stir fries!

I saw that Pompeian - the brand of grapeseed oil I have been using - was having a recipe contest encouraging bloggers to create a recipe using grapeseed oil instead of butter, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to test my Rosemary Orange Walnut Biscotti recipe!

I think they turned out great...But they sure didn't last long around here. I've already committed to making a double batch next time. I hope you'll like them too :) 

UPDATE 05/05/13: This recipe was chosen as a semi-finalist in the Pompeian "Time to Change Your Oil" recipe contest! I would LOVE it if you would vote for me! Public voting ends 5/12.

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/3 cup Pompeian Grapeseed Oil
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 3 TBS granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
 1 TBS chopped fresh rosemary 
 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
 2 teaspoons orange zest (zest from one medium orange)
• 1 ounce semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped (or 1/8 cup chips)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 325˚F with one rack in the middle position.

Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the grapeseed oil, sugars, egg and vanilla until blended.

Heat a small frying pan over medium heat, dry (no oil), and add the chopped rosemary and walnuts, stirring regularly for several minutes until toasted. Add the orange zest and mix just before removing the pan from the heat.

Rosemary Orange Walnut Biscotti - recipe


Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture along with toasted nut mixture and chocolate chunks, and fold in until it forms a dough.

Form the dough into a log and press it out flat on a baking sheet. (I bake mine on foil but you can also use parchment paper or just a plain baking sheet, of course. My baking sheets are old and gross so I always cover them!) 

The dough should be about 3/4 inch thick. If you prefer mini biscotti, halve the dough and create 2 smaller 'loaves'.

Rosemary Orange Walnut Biscotti - recipe

Bake at 325˚ for 12 to 14 minutes on the middle rack. Remove from oven and let the loaf cool on the baking sheet. When it is cool enough to touch, slice into strips about 1/2" thick and turn them on their sides. If you like, you can also slice them in half.


Rosemary Orange Walnut Biscotti - recipe

Rosemary Orange Walnut Biscotti - recipe

**REDUCE OVEN TEMP to 250˚ and bake an additional 16-20 minutes, turning the biscotti over halfway through cooking. Cookies should be nice and toasted...and ready to crunch!

Rosemary Orange Walnut Biscotti - recipe


Enjoy!


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Note: 1 TBS grapeseed oil has 120 calories and 14 grams of fat (1.5 g Saturated fat, 10 g Polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 g Monounsaturated fat) and 0 cholesterol. 1 TBS butter has 100 calories and 11 grams of fat ( 7 g Saturated fat, 0.5 g Polyunsaturated fat, 3 g Monounsaturated fat) and 30 mg cholesterol. 

The American Heart Association recommends that most of your fat calories come from oils which provide more mono- and polyunsaturated fats, as well as eating a low cholesterol diet. Although fat is usually thought of as a bad word, these fats are 'healthy fats' and actually help lower bad cholesterol and allow the body to absorb necessary nutrients. 

Technically the grapeseed oil is higher in calories and total fat content, but still seems to be the healthier option due to the balance of good-to-bad fats, zero cholesterol, vitamin E and other antioxidants!

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What do you think? I'd love to hear from you! 

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