Backyard Biscotti Wars

Last Sunday’s biscotti adventure was so much fun I wanted to give it another go; not to mention the fact that we polished off the last one days ago. But two batches of cookies that contain over a stick of butter in two weeks is a little too much for my monthly calorie budget. I had to find a different recipe. The literal translation of ‘biscotti’, by the way, is ‘cookies’. In Italy it could mean any kind of cookie, not just the kind we have come to know as ‘biscotti’ here in the U.S.

Last week’s biscotti would probably be called something like ‘Biscotti della Nonna’ (Grandma’s cookies) and the ones I made today would be called ‘Cantuccini’. Cantuccini, a Tuscan take on biscotti, are very dry and are traditionally served with a Port-like wine called ‘Vin Santo’ for dunking. They’re also good dunked in milk, coffee, or tea but, in my opinion, are too dry to eat on their own. I’m still undecided on whether I prefer last week’s butter laden biscotti or today’s leaner cantuccini but I do like how well they both come out in the Sun Oven.

Cantuccini

Ingredients

3 large eggs, plus 1 egg white

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon anise seed, crushed

1 cup almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

Preparation

Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat. Line a rimmed baking sheet or pan* with parchment paper.

Beat 3 eggs, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer with a whisk attachment on high until thick and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon mix in vanilla extract, flour, and almonds; do not over mix. Using floured hands form dough into two logs about  3 x 8-inches long and place one on the baking sheet. Beat the egg white until foamy and brush onto the log on the baking sheet. Bake the log in the Sun Oven until golden brown, 45 minutes to an hour. Remove the log from the Sun Oven and transfer to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes. (Bake second log while the first is cooling.) Cut log into 1/2 inch wide slices and place back on baking sheet (without parchment paper). Bake for 10 minutes then turn over and bake for another 10 minutes. Repeat cooling and second baking process with second log. Alternately bake both logs together, on separate cross stacked baking sheets. If baked together the first baking may take longer and the second baking is best done in two batches.

*The pan I used measures 13″ x 9″ x 2″ and is wedged between the front and back walls of the cooking chamber. It does not rest on the leveling tray at all.

corin