That’s what I think about biscotti.
They’re not my favorite cookie by any means. My earliest memory of biscotti are of too-crunchy sticks filled with nasty bits of nuts and other weird chunks. Their only redeeming factor was the occasional dip in chocolate.
These days, I can appreciate a good biscotti, though biscotti still won’t make my top five list of favorite cookies.
These might make the top seven.
They are delicious. They may not be the strongest chai flavor you’ll ever encounter, but they’ll certainly do with a steaming cup of chai tea, or a chai latte, or a peppermint hot cocoa…
Or cold milk.
Yes, I think that would be better considering the weather.
The original recipe says it makes 24, I’m pretty sure I made somewhere around 40 medium-sized biscotti. A good petite yet hefty size, the kind where you can eat two pretty guiltlessly and still feel like you just had a pretty fantastic cookie experience.
You can drag out your heavy KitchenAid and cream the butter until its light and fluffy like it says in the recipe. Or you can use my poor (read: lazy) college technique of nuking the stick of butter* in the microwave for half a minute like I did and stir like crazy until it’s mostly creamy. This method, while faster and cruder, may yield alarming chunks of butter even to the stage of adding the sugar and spices. Fear not; after you add the flour, these splotches will magically disappear!
*Also, though I used the whole ½ cup of butter in this recipe, you could get away with less, maybe 2 tablespoons worth. My next mission is to develop a recipe for chai biscotti using minimal oil…
If you happen to get distracted while “cooling the biscotti for five minutes” after the initial bake because you run around the house screaming because you think you got attacked by a sneak squad of mosquitoes on your run that actually turns out to be a mild allergic reaction and end up leaving them to cool for more like half an hour, all will be well and you can still carry out the slicing and second round of baking without any major incident.
Otherwise, mostly smooth sailing. Happy baking!
*1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 black tea bags, cut open and the tea loose (i like Tazo Awake)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Preheat your oven to 350F (325 convection) and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Using a mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, then the sugar, spices, and tea. Mix until creamed. add the baking powder and salt and mix until combined. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until incorporated.
- Divide the dough roughly in half. Using your hands, roll each half into a log about 12 inches long. Lay the log on the sheet pan and gently push the log down until it is about 3/4 inch high. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the tops are just starting to crack and brown.
- Let the logs cool on the pan for about five minutes and then transfer to a cutting board. Using a bread or other serrated knife, cut each log into about 3/4 inch pieces. Return the pieces to the sheet pan, cut side down, leaving room between the cookies. Bake an additional 12 minutes, or until the sides feel dry to the touch (I made sure they felt sufficiently crunchy to the touch as well).
- Cool on a cooling rack and store in an airtight container.