A Feel-Good Cookie: Pecan Poppy Seed Biscotti

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It’s hard for me to resist cookies, especially during the last 15 months of the new Maggie who drinks green smoothies, eats mostly vegan, and avoids the glass of milk to dip said cookies. I have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet, next to my mother, and it’s got to be nurtured once in awhile. I mean, even the new Maggie needs a cookie… so I developed this sugar-free biscotti recipe expressly for me and pop them into my bag every now and again.

While in Los Angeles last weekend, I did not eat the cookies at every buffet — culinary professional conferences are loaded with sweets. In fact, I was exceptionally on-plan food-wise, and even took my first real yoga class in years. After walking miles around that vast city — or sometimes, sitting in miles and miles of traffic — I’d pluck a pick-me-up from my suitcase and get back to the day’s festivities.

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First, let’s talk Los Angeles. It’s wonderful, and I’d never expected to say that. All those ride-sharing apps have made the city so much more accessible and I went everywhere, including spending two afternoons in Venice Beach because VENICE BEACH. Since many of you asked on Instagram, I took notes and photos of my food experiences and will share those details in a follow-up post.

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Second, let’s talk cookies. Biscotti aren’t necessarily cookies. They are little biscuits that have been baked twice. They’re originally a Roman cookie and because they are indeed baked twice (once to cook, once to dry them out), they last for a while. If you can keep everyone’s hands off them, then they last a while. Mine disappear in days, especially if I use my treasured hazelnut honey in place of the regular honey, but you can keep these in an airtight container for weeks.

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Since I am not a biscotti expert, just an avid fan, my cookies aren’t perfect — in fact, the cookies pictured here are a little more baked than I would normally if I was paying attention. I think I was so lost in my friend Domenica Marchetti’s sweet cookbook called Ciao Biscotti: Sweet and Savory Recipes Celebrating Italy’s Favorite Cookie that I lost track of time. No bother though, they are just wonderful and nutty and made for dipping in strong espresso.

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Before you go…

* Muchas gracias to Sally Ekus for inviting me to speak at the International Association of Culinary Professionals. I loved talking about publicity and different, new, unique, odd-ball ways to promote a cookbook. I had so much fun!

* I’m heading to Jubilee next weekend to soak up everything women and food (and Martha Stewart). Let me know if you’ll be there too.

* As I mentioned, I love cookies. Here are three others that I would chow down at any moment: Adrianna’s Brown Butter Orange Madeleines; my own Pantry Cookies; and Michelle’s Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Pink Frosting.

* Here’s are a couple photos of Los Angeles. I’d love to still be sitting in that nook under the pretty flowers soaking up the sun. There are other photos on my Instagram feed and more coming soon enough.

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Pecan Poppy Seed Biscotti

Makes: 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar (or cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup honey (a dark variety)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or hazelnut extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, poppy seeds, pecans, salt, and baking powder together. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, blend the coconut oil, sugar, honey, egg, and extract together until creamy and well-combined.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix together until just combined and no flour streaks remain. As the mixture gets more dough-like, you may need to use your hands to bring it together.
  5. Shape the dough into a long, flat oval no more than 1-inch high on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Slice the cookie loaf into 1/2-inch slices on the same baking sheet and turn each biscotti on its side. Bake for 10-12 minutes longer, or until each biscotti is golden. Remove from the oven and cool before gifting.

Materials

  • 1 box
  • Parchment paper
  • Newspaper
  • Tape
  • Ribbon
  • Tag

Directions

  1. Line a small box with parchment paper. Place the desired number of coolored biscotti into the box and seal it.
  2. Wrap the box in a sheet of newspaper, as you would a gift with clear tape. Twist a long length of ribbon around the box three times and tie it off into a knot (because bows can be fussy).
  3. Write the label on a tag and affix it to the ribbon.
Biscotti photos taken by Heidi Murphy/White Loft Studio and L.A. photos taken by Maggie Battista.

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