I had to take three trains from Brooklyn to get to my job on the Upper East Side. Let me tell you: this is semi-note worthy talk for parties. People will try to hide their jealously if you have one train ride to work. Two and they’ll say, “Join the club, don’t we all.” If you have to take three trains then they will start to feel bad and quickly change the subject by asking, “Well then how much do you pay for rent out there in Brooklyn?”
I could turn the three train situation (see here I go talking about commuting!) into just one train if I walked 30 minutes to the direct line. If it wasn’t raining/hailing/snowing and depending on my laziness, I would always choose the walk. When I found out that there happened to be an amazing Italian bakery on the way, guess why I started walking more often (obviously because walking = treat). Out of everything they offered I was most drawn to their overwhelming selection of biscotti and I would always order just one – to go.
The woman behind the counter laughed at me the first time. I don’t think she was in the habit of customers purchasing a single biscotti especially since they are sold by the pound; meaning one cookie would set me back a whole $0.25 to $0.35 depending on how generously the baker in the back sliced them.
I can do a lot of multi-tasking but dunking (read: properly enjoying) a biscotti into coffee is a near impossible feat to achieve while commuting. For some silly reason you cannot fit a biscotti through the opening of a coffee with a lid, and let me tell you, you don’t want to be that person on the subway at 7:45am with a steaming hot coffee sans-lid trying to savor one single biscotti like you are on vacation at a café in the Italian countryside. No. Guess what, you are on the A-train and stand clear of those closing doors.
I could write sonnets about the humble biscotti and its love for coffee. What it is like to hold a crisp but tender cookie at the brink of a dunk. So much promise and hope for the morning. The biscotti falls weak at its knees to warm coffee and I’ll happily sweep them both off their feet. Alas, it is the simple things.
I have been dreaming of making an acceptable breakfast time biscotti for many a month now, so would you believe me if I told you this was the first time I had ever attempted homemade biscotti. Why would I try when I live so close to the motherland. Well, okay, perhaps I have made them in my lifetime because I know someone is going to come out of the woodwork and say, “Lillie, remember when we made biscotti that one time and we had so much fun?!” To that I will say: I’m sorry. I have an awful memory and I wouldn’t remember if I made them with you last week.
Biscotti have a bad rap because coffee shops in the 90s started making them by the dozen and selling what were essentially teething biscuits for adults. I think we can all agree that no one should ever have to gnaw their way through a cookie full of craisins and whole pecans.
If you are thinking to yourself – meh, even after this whole love letter to biscotti I still just don’t like them much – then try these. These are spicy and full of flavor and crunchy but even when twice-baked, they stay tender and have just the slightest bite to them. They are sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup! They are full of oats and cinnamon!
Make a batch and watch as these breakfast time biscotti will make many a winter morning just a little bit better.
Cinnamon Maple Oat Biscotti
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies
Inspired by Biscotti (which, B-T-Dubs, is one of the cutest little books of cookie recipes I’ve ever seen)
1 cup (125 grams) flour
1/2 cup (50 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup (53 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon (3 grams) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon (17 grams) coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) anise extract
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Measure the maple syrup into a liquid measuring cup then add the coconut oil and extracts. Separate the egg white into a small bowl and set aside – then add the egg yolk to the maple/oil mixture and whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients – all at once – to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir until combined. Don’t fret, the dough will be crumbly. Mix in the reserved egg white and stir until fully incorporated.
Using lightly floured hands (the dough may be a bit sticky so re-flour your hands as needed) transfer the dough to the prepared sheet and shape into a 12-inch long and 4-inch wide log.
Bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven (but leave it on!) and let the log cool until you are able to handle it with ease. Use a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to cut the log into 1/3-inch wide diagonal slices. Place the biscotti cut side down back on the sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes more.
Let cool completely then serve with a dunkable beverage of your choice.
Store in an airtight container for up to several weeks.