Fig and Walnut Biscotti
I’m a morning person, but let me explain what I mean by that. I wake up when the alarm rings and never hit snooze. I’m no grump. But I am not in any rush.
I tend to set alarms earlier than necessary so I can savor the morning with a leisurely breakfast. Read something. Check my email. Consider different outfits before going back to my first choice.
Sundays make the best kind of mornings. Slow and simple, made for lots of lounging on the couch until the morning becomes your whole afternoon. Sunday morning is not for slipping into gym shorts and making it on time to body pump class.
Sunday means waking up later than usual for a relaxed breakfast. It means staying in your pajamas for most of the day while reading the newspaper, thumbing through magazines, and maybe catching something familiar on TV.
Sure, Friday night is fun with its last-minute decisions to get dressed and go out for a couple Manhattans. Maybe order some fried oysters and share a big platter of cheeses at the bar for dinner. A girl needs that. And more.
Etta James had the right idea with A Sunday Kind of Love.
I’m not alone here, am I?
These biscotti fit right in this Sunday. A happy addition to a breakfast of the world’s best scrambled eggs – thanks to Danny – and some coffee.
I baked these on Saturday and kept the cookies on the small side, which allows for the satisfaction of eating two or three cookies with coffee or tea.
I planned on using hazelnuts until I couldn’t find them at Publix. But figs and walnuts (a common pair) go very well together. Toasting the walnuts is definitely worth the extra step as it enhances the flavor of the entire cookie.
I added cinnamon because I like seeing the tiny flecks in the dough, and I tend to throw it in to so many baked things.
Sweetness is not the first thing that hits you with these biscotti, which I very much appreciate. Fig and walnut is not the conspicuous combination of cranberry and pistachio (another favorite) but the two really do complement each other.
These are easy like Sunday morning. But you can bet they’re good any time.
fig and walnut biscotti
makes about 2 dozen cookies, adapted from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing baking sheets
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for baking sheets
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup chopped figs (about 8 dried Mission figs)
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (a 6-ounce bag is more than enough)
Heat oven to 375°F.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is blended in before adding the next one. Add the vanilla extract.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the flour mix to the dough little by little, beating until just incorporated. Stir in the chopped figs and chopped walnuts.
Butter two baking sheets and dust them with flour. Flip over the sheets and tap them to remove excess flour.
Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a 2-inch-wide log. Put each log on a baking sheet.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or just until the logs are golden and starting to crack on top. Definitely check them before that time to be sure they don’t overcook. Set the logs aside to cool, and lower the oven temperature to 250°F.
Once the logs aren’t too hot to handle, use a serrated knife to cut each diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Put the slices on the baking sheets and back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.
Let the cookies cool a bit before enjoying with coffee.
Note: Mark Bittman advises to add a tablespoon of milk or two if you need it to bring the dough together after adding the dry ingredients, but I didn’t have this problem. Biscotti will keep in an airtight container for several days. Next time I’d pull the logs before the 25-minute mark. They were a bit more done than I’d prefer. Also, 1 1/2 cups (or 6 oz.) of whole walnuts is more than enough to give you 1 cup of chopped walnuts.