I’ve been out of touch as of late. Yes, the bug got me and put me out of commission for the last couple of days. I’ve been stranded on my living room couch too weak to even watch TV or surf my favourite blogs. And in case you’re wondering; no I did not get the “swine flu”, just a really sore throat and a killer headache to accompany it. Believe me at the first hint of my sore throat I asked my husband to look up H1N1 symptoms. Luckily enough I did not develop and fever, congestion or cough. But let me tell you if I do get the opportunity to get the vaccine, I’m all for it. I find that as I’m getting older it becoming more and more difficult to shake things off, even something as simple as a cold.
Well I’m doing better today, not 100% but getting there. And as soon as I started feeling better I thought that I should post something new on my blog even though I’ve been too ill to make anything this week. Lucky for me last week when I made the Chestnut Cake I also made Fig Walnut Biscotti which I documented for a rainy day such as this.
This is another recipe that I came across on a website. I printed it out so long ago I had almost forgotten about it. I have always limited myself to making the standard Almond Biscotti and wanted to try something different. Walnuts in a biscotto is different, but adding dry figs is way different. Believe it or not dry figs is something I always have in my pantry, my husband is a sucker for these.Growing up we always had dry figs in the house, and we just wouldn’t eat them plain either. My dad used to split them in the middle and add an almond, orange peel and then stack them with layers of sprinkled cinnamon in a tin cookie can. Back home in Italy he went a step further, there are fig trees everywhere. The figs would be sun-dried much like the process of sun drying tomatoes and then prepared the same way I just described above.
I personally enjoy the taste of fresh figs, I remember on a summer trip to Italy once I ate so many I actually got sick. But that I still went back for more the next day, there’s just something about being able to pick them fresh from the tree. While figs are now available pretty much all year-round, in the fall and winter months I tend to stock up on dried figs. Never before this attempt have I used them in a recipe, much less a biscotti recipe.
This recipe is adapted from Italian Baking Secrets from Father Giuseppe Orsini. His recipe calls from pistachio’s, I used walnuts instead as I only had salted pistachios on hand. The recipe is definitely a keeper and if you’re looking for a different type of biscotti I would give these little babies a try!
Fig and Walnut Biscotti
Adapted from Italian Baking Secrets by Father Giuseppe Orsini.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1 cup roughly chopped and toasted walnuts
1 cup chopped dried figs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the flour and baking soda and set aside.
Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment and cream on high-speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
Mix in the vanilla and orange zest.
Add in the walnuts and figs with the mixer on low.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low-speed until just combined.
Place the dough out onto a well-floured surface and gather into a ball. Flour your hands as it will be easier to handle the dough.
Divide the dough into three equal pieces.
Roll the pieces into logs that are about an inch and a half to 2 inches thick and about 10 to 12 inches long.
Carefully transfer the logs to the baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. The logs will be slightly golden and firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
Carefully slice the logs into biscotti, about an inch thick.
Transfer the cookies back to the baking tray so that they are standing upright. Do not lay them on one side or they will not brown evenly.
Place the cookies back in the oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden in colour.
Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days…if they last that long. They will also keep in the freezer.