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12 Days of Edible Gifts: Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti
12 Days of Edible Gifts: Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti

Biscotti is typically a sweet treat, but it's delicious when made with savory ingredients like Parmesan cheese and fresh-cracked black pepper. These crisp, cracker-like cookies make a delightful homemade gift.

Don't be intimidated by the recipe, although it involves dough and double baking, it's actually uncomplicated. I've never made biscotti and was a little nervous, but the technique was surprisingly simple. Be sure to read the recipe carefully before you begin to bake.

The recipe makes a large batch so I gave some to my grandfather and his girlfriend, and served the rest with wine and salami at an informal dinner party. To fill your house with a marvelous, comforting smell, bake these and

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Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti

Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti

Ingredients

  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  2. 4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 2 teaspoons salt
  5. 4 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (2 1/4 cups)
  6. 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  7. 4 large eggs
  8. 1 cup whole milk
  9. Special equipment: an electric coffee/spice grinder*

Directions

  1. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Pulse peppercorns in grinder until coarsely ground.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 2 cups cheese, and 1 tablespoon ground black pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  5. Whisk 3 eggs with milk and add to flour mixture, stirring with a fork until a soft dough forms.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and quarter dough. Using well-floured hands, form each piece into a slightly flattened 12-inch-long log (about 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch high). Transfer logs to 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging logs about 3 inches apart.
  7. Whisk remaining egg and brush some over logs, then sprinkle tops of logs evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1/2 tablespoon ground pepper. Bake, rotating sheets 180 degrees and switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until logs are pale golden and firm, about 30 minutes total.
  8. Cool logs to warm on sheets on a rack, about 10 minutes.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
  10. Carefully transfer 1 warm log to a cutting board and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining logs, transferring slices to sheets.
  11. Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, 35 to 45 minutes total. Cool biscotti on baking sheets on racks, about 15 minutes.

Makes 5-6 dozen biscotti.

*I do not own a spice grinder, so I hand cracked the black pepper using my everyday pepper grinder.

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Comments
ThreeBowls
ThreeBowls
How funny! I was up until 2 am with holiday baking and have two baking sheets of these currently awaiting packing in my kitchen this very morn. This is my third time making this recipe and they are worth it (even though they involve my Most Hated Baking Activity: cutting butter into flour). If you like garlic or are making them for someone who does, you might want to consider adding a tsp or so of garlic granules (I think a little different than old skool garlic powder? I find it in the bulk section of local natural mart) to the dry ingredients. If you do somehow have some extra, also try cutting them into cubes to use as a tasty crouton for soup or salad. Definitely one to try!!
Angelica
Angelica
These are beautiful! What a great, and delicious sounding, idea and recipe!
gabiushka
gabiushka
these look so good!
chiefdishwasher
chiefdishwasher
Get out of publishing and start marketing these things!
a1stbornunicorn
a1stbornunicorn
serving with wine- ingenious.
tamint
tamint
this receipe reminds me of my parmasean peppercorn rolls, yummy!
nancita
nancita
Double-baking does sound intimidating but these look delicious. I love the flavor combination, and savory biscotti is a brilliant idea!
Food
Food
The black pepper really made it delicious.
tlsgirl
tlsgirl
I never even realized you could make biscotti with savory ingredients. What a cool idea.
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