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Cookies - Biscotti

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There’s a cookie place in the UK that has an almost cult following. Like Mrs. Field’s, Famous Amos, David’s and Levain’s of New York famed mammoth chocolate chunk cookies, these British cookies make people swoon. I’ve had them cold and Fed-exed and even cold, Ben’s Cookies are impressive. I don’t have their recipe and I wouldn’t even want to attempt to replicate someone else’s creativity or endeavour. But I do have a son Ben – and he loves huge, chocolate things like hunks of Notting Hill Brownies and my own Ben’s cookies – made for him. These take baking soda which makes them puffy and deepens their chocolate crumb and they are topped with chunks of chocolate which melts into a halo of bittersweet decadence. Bake them big and delight in those huge crackles which form – the result of a stiff batter balking against the strain of the leavener and creating those fissures we seem to love in cookies. If I could replicate these in a regular Toll House cookie, I’d be way pleased. It’s a challenge that lies ahead.

 

Shame on you if you tell anyone in the family these have flax seed and wheat germ in them! These are: fantastic. Something about the flax seed (ground) and wheat germ makes these especially golden and crunchy crisp and you'd never know they are fibre-filled superstars. This is also a great cookie to fiddle with if you want t hemp hearts, or change the sugar for agave or maple syrup. The coconut oil is available organic and pure (but tastes coconut-y) or unflavored. Either way, coconut fat is now considered a heart-healthy fat and is dairy free.

Kamishbrot is a double-baked biscotti-like cookie

Is this strudel or a new wave biscotti? This features a biscotti/cookie dough, that is rippled through with apple pie filling (the homemade filling is included; you can also use a can of apple pie filling to speed things up). It is baked once and cut into small sticks that are tightly coiled, showing off their filling. They are crunchy as cookies, interesting as biscotti, and unique as strudel. They keep well and are one of those extremely satisfying cookie bites – as good for the kids as it is for hosting or giving as gifts.

Vanilla scented, crisp biscotti with a caramel-like layer.

Sometimes, quick, dirty and decadent is what you need. Sandwich two tea biscuit (or thin store-bough shortbread or butter cookies) with store-bought (or homemade) dulce de leche. Dip in melted chocolate. Chill and wrap. These are simply beautiful and too easy to be that elegant but they are.  These would be nice with chocolate wafer cookies and also filled with jam or Nutella. If you are ambitious, drizzle on the initials of the person who is getting these as a gift. Before you offer these treats, powder your nose with flour and spritz some water on your brow - they look as though you toiled all day. No need to destroy the myth.

Easy to bake, easy to double
A classic cookie from Jewish cuisine

Oh Yule, oh biscotti!  This one is a thematic-of-the-season hum dinger. Rich cream, orange zest, orange juice and nutmeg are in the batter; white chocolate and a border of crushed graham crumbs finishes it off. Make a batch and then go stand under the mistletoe. Odds are, the biscotti will get you kissed before anyone even looks up.

Little, dense buttery bites, topped with an egg nog glaze. 

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