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Cookies - Biscotti

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If you prefer, you may substitute raisins for the chocolate and add chopped nuts. If you are not serving these for a Seder supper, I would strongly suggest you use butter. What else could you call such a cookie that tastes like a gourmet chocolate chip cookie and yet, miraculously, is 'ok' to eat at Passover?
This is what gets you through Passover week.....the perfect sweet nosh.

Dough scraps, a bit of sugar and some cinnamon make for tasty cookies.Dust in some cocoa, or a minced chocolate or toffee crunch bar, and you have pie dough cookies with an attitude. Kids love to pitch in to make (and devour) these. I never wait for pie dough scraps to make these; I make a batch of pie dough expressly for these cookies. Awesome cookie/pastry that are amazingly good keepers.

Almonds take the lead in this amazingly intense almond biscotti. These are easy but elegant and stuffed with almonds. The top surface has a little sheen or candy-like glaze.  Make them big as gifts or little for cookie treat when friends drop by. This is truly my best almond biscotti. My baker's trick? I use a combination of both pure and artificial almond extract for the most intense almond taste possible.

Chunks of banana, scattersings of granola or mueslix cereal, a few toffee chips are all laced together in this brown sugar, honey, and nutty biscotti. The aroma is pure and comforting like grandma-style banana bread but with a crunch (plus you can dip this banana sweetie in your latte; you can't do that with a slice of banana bread). The chunks of banana seem to melt during baking into pockets of banana/toffee goodness.

Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And fortunately, when there aren’t any cookies we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or a subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort.

From Stranger Than Fiction, a film with Will Farrell, Dustin Hoffman, and Emma Thompson

I looked high and low, after seeing Stranger and Fiction, which is about a baker in love, for a recipe for Bavarian Sugar Cookies. I could not find anything other than other people also searching for such a recipe. I knew I had to then create a cookie that was crisp, light, sweet, and European and holiday-ish. It took many tries, as recipes of my imagination often do, but this is the pure and simple cookie I wanted. My Bavarian cookie is a homey sugar cookie that is gently crisp, crunchy but not hard or snappy. It is as comforting as a Bavarian grandmother who is also the best village baker. The addition of toasted almonds adds to the bouquet of flavor but the nuts are optional if you prefer a nut free sugar cookie. The real trick is cream of tartar and baking soda. Together, those leaveners create freshly-made baking powder (versus store bought). Using this fresh leavening results in a unique tender crunchiness that makes this cookie so special. You can roll these thin as Pringles or 1/8 inch thick for two entirely different cookie experiences. No one can eat just one of these cookies. In fact, I’ve seen people down a dozen.

Gar, is this good! Nippy cheddar, a packet of dry cheddar powder from a pantry box of Mac ‘N Cheese, beer, Dijon and a shot of Tabasco make these the perfect foil to holiday cocktails, ale, or simply Perrier and cranberry juice. If you slice thin shavings of the log and bake it the second time to crisp – the shavings do nicely as crostini (instead of dry toasts). I used a sharp Vermont Cabot Cheddar for these gift-able, savoury biscotti

Easy to handle, and adaptable to all sorts of handling and additions (miniature chocolate chips, different extracts, finely ground nuts, spices, etc.) this is another 'little black dress' of cookie recipes to have around. If you want a really sandy texture, use a small proportion of shortening to replace the butter.This does double duty as an Xmas or Hanukah cut out cookie.

Size does matter. Trust us. Huge mounds of cookie dough makes for chewy, crisp, great cookies. One batch should make you a legend. (if you manage to share these!)

These are tender and easy to,  the consummate holiday cookie. They’re fine plain or iced, or you can consider these addition such as candied fruit, currants, dried cranberries, minced dried cherries (all fruit minced very fine), miniature chocolate or butterscotch chips, oatmeal, other flavor extracts and colorings, all brown sugar. Use all butter for the purists, but the tiny bit of  shortening makes for a crisper cookie. I suggest you spritz a cookie and bake that one cookie to see if it spreads. If it does, spritz the rest of the cookies on a large baking sheet and then chill them 1 hour before baking. Spritz cookies take a bit of practise - not use in spritzing them but in finding a cookie dough that is the perfect balance of rich buttery taste, pipes easily, but also holds it shape during and after baking. Too soft a dough can take a bit more flour; too stiff a dough can use a touch more cream or make sure it is the right temperature to pipe out (a chilled dough will not work).

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