For a twist on cheese straws, try making savory cheese biscotti. These “cookies” are macho enough for Super Bowl parties but elegant enough for other occasions.
This recipe is adapted from Marcy Goldman, the creative cook behind Betterbaking.com. Usually, recipes fall under two camps: classical or fun. Reference books like The Cake Bible have trustworthy recipes, but after a while, I want something more than basic sponge cake. Then there’s the comfort-food recipes, like Paula Deen’s bacon-wrapped mac and cheese. But can you trust Paula Deen? She of the Velveeta chocolate fudge? Fortunately, you get great results with Marcy’s recipes, and there’s a twist to keep things interesting.
The secret to these biscotti is wine, which makes them taste even cheesier. I paired Gewürztraminer with Mimolette cheese (leftover from the CulinaryCorps potluck). Mimolette looks like cantaloupe, but the flavor is a cross between cheddar and parmesan. Because it’s firm, crunchy bits of cheese remain after baking.
After the first baking, these biscotti are as flavorful and tender as Red Lobster’s cheddar biscuits. I don’t know what the “unscotti” are like when they’re cool; I couldn’t wait that long. But my gut says that this recipe is a two-for-one. Bake once, and you have biscuits. Bake twice, and you have crunchy cheese sticks.
Savory Cheese Biscotti
Adapted from A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 dozen biscotti, depending on size
Any firm cheese and wine will work here: the original recipe calls for Parmesan and Chianti. To lighten things up, you can probably reduce the oil by half, since these biscotti are rich.
1/2 cup olive oil
3 large eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste (depending on how salty your cheese is, you can reduce or increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary, parsley, or chives
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup spicy white wine, such as Gewürztraminer
2 cups freshly grated Mimolette cheese
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°Â F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or greased foil.
- In a mixer bowl, blend oil, eggs, salt, pepper, herbs, and garlic powder. Blend in wine, cheese, baking powder, baking soda, and flour to make a stiff dough.
- Spread dough into a log about 10 inches long and 4 to 5 inches across and pat down to square off the dough neatly.
- Bake until set, about 35 to 45 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheet. Wrap and refrigerate log 1 hour (this step ensures that the biscotti don’t fall apart when you slice them). Using a long serrated knife, slice log into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Preheat oven to 300°Â F. Return biscotti to baking sheets and bake a second time to crisp, about 20 minutes, turning once at midway point to ensure even baking.
- Taste one biscotto after it cools. If it is crisp, biscotti are done. Otherwise, bake a little longer, 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets.
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