Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cinnamon Raisin Biscotti

jar of biscotti
playing around with a photo taken of my freshly baked cinnamon-raisin biscotti

Did anyone tell you how therapeutic baking can be?


Well I'm telling you now.

Ever since the new semester of school kicked in, I've been so busy that I haven't had time to bake or cook as often. My oven was under-utilised, there wasn't any nice aroma emanating from the oven and absolutely nothing to experiment with.

So yesterday when I had some time to spare in the evening, it's no surprise what I did.

I baked.

I baked these:


Don't mind the black & white effects. I was bored so tried to play around with Adobe Photoshop.

Anyway I was really craving for some homemade biscotti.

There's something about biscotti that's so simple, yet so elegant.

Whenever I think of biscotti, I think old school - people sitting around in cafes, dipping their biscotti into a cup of cappucino, hot cocoa or latte. It exudes that sense of serenity, where people slowly wait for their crisp biscotti to soften in their hot drink then bite it.

The only other biscotti I've made is the almond biscotti; that's the most common one I guess. Almond biscotti sounds sophisticated and does certainly taste so. To me, it has character. I'm someone who doesn't crave for uber fanciful things so maybe that's why. I guess the recipes I choose reflects me and my preferences.

Going back to basics is so me. Probably that's why I adore anything vintage, rustic, country and raw stuff. I have that vision for my bakery - in the future that is.

Maybe I'll have a shop just like what Samsoon did in My Lovely Samsoon. Hers was an online pastry shop but she also had a physical store where customers can come and collect their orders. Hmmmm... I can't wait till the day that happens. But first, I gotta concentrate on school!

So before I go, here's a normal (yea decided not to play around with this photo) shot of my cinnamon-raisin biscotti with recipe attached, enjoy!:

cinnamon raisin biscotti

Cinnamon-Raisin Biscotti

1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease heavy large baking sheet. Using hand-held electric mixer, beat egg and sugar in medium bowl until very thick and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in brandy and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into egg mixture and blend well. Mix in raisins and almonds. Spoon dough onto prepared sheet to form 10- to 11-inch strip. Using moistened fingertips, shape dough into neat 11-inch-long by 2 1/2-inch-wide log.
Bake until log just begins to brown and feels firm to touch, about 20 minutes. Cool cookie log on sheet 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Transfer cookie log to work surface. Using serrated knife, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices on same baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Turn slices over. Bake until beginning to color, about 8 minutes longer. Cool cookies completely on baking sheet (cookies will become very crisp). (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Makes about 2 dozen.

Bon App├ętit
September 1995
Tony DiSalvo: Falls Church, Virginia

**the baker's note: i halved the amount of sugar because I don't like my biscotti too sweet. anyway the raisins are sweet already.


GS said...

Epicurious I love that page, I discovered it fron the tv show and is like my go to web page whenever I need a recipe, btw biscotti looks yummy.

D said...

I usually make my biscotti with no sugar at all and use them as crackers for dips.

m a r i e said...

yes! i totally agree with you about how therapeutic baking can be. it's the entire process of starting from scratch right up to the point where the people you offer your baked goods to say that it tastes good.

i love baking early in the morning or late in the night cause i love it when the only sound you can hear is the machine at work and the sound of your own thoughts and i am all alone.

i love your blog. please keep up with the great work! will always be reading. =]

Unknown said...


I love your biscotti, full of nuts. I like them dunked into coffee :)

Edith said...

these difinitely taste good with a cuppa of latte.

Jen said...

I love using that effect on Photoshop, is it something like watercolor or the like?
Well your biscotti look gorgeous, I love the combination of cinnamon and raisins!

Sha said...

Oh, that looks yummy! Plus I'm fasting so everything looks extra yummy. Hehe.

You said you halved the amount of sugar - the recipe you posted is the original one, right? Meaning it's not yet halved? So halved = 1/4 cup. Yes? Just checking.

Also, can you suggest a non-alcoholic substitute for brandy?

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the online bakery idea. I love to bake too. Rose (from Good Sheppard a few Sundays ago)

the baker said...

GorditaSabrosa: Absolutely! I do that too... it's the first site I go to whenever I'm in urgent need of a good recipe.

D: yea, i don't like my biscotti too sweet either. but these ones are really yummy.

marie: you took the words right out of my mouth! i too find it refreshing and lovely to start my day that way or to quietly end it by the oven, waiting for my cookies etc to bake etc. :)

Angie: yep, i like almonds and I made sure there were plentiful in those biscotti!

Precious Moments: couldn't agree more! i drank it with mocha yesterday... yum!

jenjen: yep, i used a bit of watercolour, and tweaked the colours a bit... cinnamon and raisins are a match made in heaven. smells great too!

Sha: that's right... so it's 1/4 cup of sugar. you can add less if you like because the raisins really give it the sweetness it requires. hmmmm i can't think of a substitute for brandy but I do suppose you can omit it or just add more vanilla extract? i doubt it'll make it any less yummy since it's only 1 tablespoon :)

Rose: hey! yes i remember you! you know, you're the first person to acknowledge me upon recognition. it was a pleasant surprise. haha so sweet. yes, baking is fun isn't it? what do you like to bake most?

Awayofmind Bakery Hoiuse said...

I've not try this before, the biscotti looks yummy, I like your third photo the texture of the biscotti looks really crisp!!

Anonymous said...

Hee..I'm another person who understands and totally agree on the therapeutic effects of baking. Anyway, your biscotti looks yummy! Cheers to baking!

Anonymous said...

hey, just a quick question: do you know where i can go to get those paper kind of chef's hat?

laureen said...

Hi Cheryl,

I was just wondering if you followed the recipe exactly. ive tried making these but the dough turned out pretty dry so i added about 2 more tbsp of brandy, to no avail. the dough split while baking in the oven. could you offer any help? thanks!

Anonymous said...

i was looking for a biscotti recipe, and google brought me to your page. I must say that those biscottis look like a piece of art.
About the theraputic aspect of baking: I totally agree. Suring the most stressful weeks of the school year I can be found in the kitchen baking something, anything during my endless breaks where i make snacks that my siblings and i can enjoy. its amazing how when i sit myslef down to study, the next second i'm back in the kitchen dumping things in the kitchen aid!
anyway, much success in all ur future baking endeavors!

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