You have a container (or two) of protein powder, purchased a while back, and you keep meaning to add it to your smoothies (when you get around to making a smoothie); this is a crunchy, munchy alternative, perfect anytime you need a healthy treat to nibble alongside a cup of coffee. Or tea. Or water. Or anything potable. It’s also perfect if you think cookies for breakfast is brilliant.
This particular recipe came together on a whim. I was meeting up with a friend for coffee and wanted to bring something to thank her for the excellent bedtime brain-candy book (here) she recently passed my way. Several facts guided this recipe’s development: (1) She loves biscotti (she buys 1 or 2 every time we meet for coffee); (2) she is a fellow fitness geek; (3) she is always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate protein into her diet.
I decided she needed a protein-boosted biscotti recipe to enjoy now (from my oven) and make later (in her oven), and after a few minutes of grabbing this-and-that from my pantry, then referencing several of the biscotti recipes I’ve developed in the past, I ended up with slender, crunchy cookies with toasted almonds and some random chunks of chocolate.
Biscotti gets a bad rap for being tricky or complicated. Don’t believe a word of it; it’s one of the most forgiving cookies and is simple to make and bake. A few tips…Don’t shape the log of dough too wide; it will spread as it bakes, plus you can cut it as long as you like once baked by slicing on the diagonal. Second, err on the side of less rather than more time for the second bake (I’ve come across some that have you leave it in the oven overnight); the cookies will continue to harden as they cool, and while you want significant crunch, you also should aim to keep your teeth intact. Also, do your best to get all the biscotti slices roughly the same thickness. You don’t need to whip out the ruler (although…I do. Once a math geek, always a math geek), but you want to avoid some slices getting over- or under-brown.
This is a simple, gently sweet cookie ideal for anytime of day, but especially if you are fond of crunchiness in the morning (check!). I genuinely think it is perfect straight up, but a handful of your favorite dried fruit, some cacao nibs, seeds, nuts, or the combination of dark chocolate and almonds I added for this batch is always splendid.