I have recently moved to hot Australia from the UK and all the biscuits I have been making are hard and not very nice. I am getting worried as I am due to make biscuit wedding favours for a friend and over 12 batches have been terrible! Also my enthusiasm and confidence is melting away… I am not an expert biscuit baker and would love some help…
Any ideas for a recipe which could stand the tropical heat and last a few days as I would like to bake them a few days before I arrive (have to catch a plane for a few hours to the wedding) any make or flavour is appreciated at this point!
From an anxious maid of honour
thanks for your help
By biscuits, do you mean English biscuits (cookies) or American biscuits (buns)?
thanks heaps and will be trying these today! fingers crossed and much appreciated!
Biscotti keep very well in an air tight container. Here are a few recipes:
Apricot and Almond Biscotti with Limoncello
For The Limoncello
• 700ml lemon vodka
• 200g sugar
• 8 un-waxed lemons (zest and juice) Method
For the limoncello, pour a little of the vodka into a pan, add the sugar and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and zest. Stir in the remaining vodka and allow to cool. Pour into a clean bottle, and then place into the fridge or freezer to chill thoroughly.
For The Biscotti
• 250g all-purpose flour
• 250g sugar
• 3 medium eggs (lightly beaten)
• 50g dried sweetened strawberries (chopped)
• 100g dried apricots (chopped)
• 50g Medjool dates (chopped)
• 75g pistachios
• 50g whole blanched almonds
• 50g hazelnuts
• Zest of 1 Lemon
For the biscotti, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a large bowl. Add half the beaten eggs and mix well, then add half of what’s left and mix again. Add the last quarter a little at a time until the dough takes shape but isn’t too wet (you may not need to use all of the eggs). Add the fruit, nuts and lemon zest and mix well.
Divide the dough into six pieces. With wet hands, roll each piece into a sausage shape about 5cm/2in wide and place well apart on the baking sheet. Lightly flatten the ‘sausages’ and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and harden for ten minutes.
With a serrated knife, cut the ‘sausages’ on an angle into 0.5cm/¼in slices and lay these on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake for eight minutes, then turn the slices over and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until they are a pale golden color. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. When completely cold, the biscotti can be stored in airtight jars for a week or more.
To serve, pour the limoncello into a chilled shot glass and serve with the biscotti.
The addition of a small amount of butter produces a richer, more cookie-like texture. Although they will keep at least two weeks in an airtight container, these biscotti are especially good when eaten the same day they are baked. A combination of hazelnuts and almonds also works well, too.
Makes 3-4 dozen
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup whole almonds with skins; toasted, cooled, and chopped coarse
1 large orange zested and minced to yield 2 tablespoons zest
Sift first three ingredients together in a small bowl.
Beat butter and sugar together in bowl of electric mixer until light and smooth; add eggs one at a time, then extracts. Stir in almonds and zest. Sift dry ingredients over egg mixture, then fold in until dough is just combined.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Halve dough and turn each portion onto an oiled cookie sheet covered with parchment. Using floured hands, quickly stretch each portion of dough into a rough 13-by-2-inch log, placing them about 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Pat each dough shape to smooth it. Bake, turning pan once, until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes.
Cool the loaves for 10 minutes; lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. Cut each loaf diagonally into 3/8-inch slices with a serrated knife. Lay the slices about 1/2-inch apart on the cookie sheet, cut side up, and return them to the oven. Bake, turning over each cookie halfway through baking, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer biscotti to wire rack and cool completely.
Cherry Garcia Biscotti
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried Bing cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks/chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat eggs, adding sugar gradually, at medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. At low speed or by hand, stir in flour mixture followed by cherries and chocolate.
Drop spoonfuls of batter into long lines on prepared baking sheet and, with well floured hands, shape the irregular lines into rectangular logs about 1/2 inch high. Length and width are your prerogative, and you can use more than one baking sheet, if necessary. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, until logs are a light gold color and are fully set (they will spring back slightly when touched with a finger).
Slice logs into 1/3-1/2 inch thick slices (1-1.5 cm) and lay flat (on their sides) on baking sheet. Lower the oven temperature to 300F. Bake sliced cookies for 15 minutes, flip them and bake for an additional 15 minutes. If biscotti cookies are not firm, depending on how thickly they were sliced, turn again and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store the biscotti in an airtight container.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
1 1/2 cups pistachios
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the pistachios on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake the nuts for 10 minutes or until the nuts are lightly toasted. Remove from the oven.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, gradually add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla; mix until creamed. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dough until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the pistachios until evenly distributed.
Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut in half. Roll each half into a log, each 12 inches long by 1-inch high. Place the logs on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly brown. Let the logs cool for 5 minutes and then place on a cutting board. Slice each log on a diagonal into 12 1-inch thick pieces. Put the cookies back on the cookie sheet and bake 5 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake the other side for another 5 minutes.
Store the cookies in an airtight container.
Yield: 24 cookies