Biscotti With a Persian Twist

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 25 mins
Cook 45 mins

Did you know the cookie was actually invented in ancient Persia (now Iran) in the 7th century, A.D.? The earliest cookie-style cakes are thought to date back to 7th century Persia A.D. (now Iran), one of the first countries to cultivate sugar (luxurious cakes and pastries in large and small versions were well known in the Persian empire). According to historians, sugar originated either in the lowlands of Bengal or elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Sugar spread to Persia and then to the Eastern Mediterranean. I haven't tried this yet, but looking forward to it! From The Art of Armenian and Middle Eastern Cooking.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 cups flour (I used equal amounts of organic pastry flour and all purpose flour-will try this subbing 1 cup whole)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (Yes, a Tablespoon!)
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 34 cup Agave, necar (or 3/4 cup of granulated sugar)
  • 34 cup of smooth unsweetened applesauce (or apple butter)
  • 1 -3 tablespoon oil (neutral tasting,I used coconut oil, Use more oil for softer biscotti, less oil for crunchier biscott)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • For Sour Cherry and Almond Biscotti

  • 12 cup tart cherries (sour)
  • 12 cup almonds
  • For Cranberry Pistachio and Cardamom Biscotti

  • 12 cup cranberries
  • 12 cup pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325* F and lightly oil one large or two smaller cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, salt, baking powder, and cardamom powder if using.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the agave or sugar, applesauce, oil, and extracts. (Use more oil for a softer biscotti, less oil for a crunchier biscotti).
  4. In thirds, gently add and stir sugar mixture into the flour mixture. Batter will be very thick. Add the nuts and fruits. Finish the mixing with your hands.
  5. With floured hands, shape the dough into two 3-inch wide “logs” about 3/4 inch thick, with the ends squared off. (Measure if you have to; I did!).
  6. Bake the logs for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack. As they cool, drop the oven temp to 300°F.
  7. Cool the logs on a rack for 15 minutes. Cut the logs carefully with a sharp knife straight across into 1/2 inch wide slices.
  8. Place the slices cut side down on the cookie sheets and bake for 5-10 minutes more.
  9. Turn the slices over and cook 5-10 minutes more, or until golden on bottom. NOTE: The biscotti might look under-cooked. They almost certainly are not. They will harden up as they sit.
  10. Cool on racks, then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.