Holiday baking is in full swing at my house, and one of my favorite treats to make this time of year is biscotti. It’s such a versatile little cookie–you can create so many flavors from one simple dough–and it’s great to package up with a hot drink mix for holiday gift giving.
Of course, the holidays can be a pretty indulgent time, so I recently mixed up a batch of biscotti using Born Sweet® Zing™ Baking Blend and I was so pleased with the results. Zing™ Baking Blend is made with stevia leaf extract and pure cane sugar, so it bakes and browns like sugar, but has only 5 calories per serving. And it’s made with only real ingredients and nothing artificial, so it’s a great way to slim down your favorite holiday recipes.
Flavors and ingredients that work well with Zing™ Baking Blend include chocolate, cinnamon, dried fruits, and nuts. Which makes it a perfect sweetener for homemade biscotti. If you’ve never made biscotti before, don’t worry. It’s so easy! And the possibilities are practically endless when it comes to adding different mix-ins.
For this batch of biscotti, I divided my dough into thirds and made Chocolate Chip Biscotti, Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti and Orange Almond Biscotti. The cranberry and pistachio biscotti is especially festive this time of year, but I also love cranberry and chocolate, or a combination of all three! Be sure to give your dried fruit and nuts a coarse chop before adding them to your dough. It helps keep the biscotti from cracking too much as they bake.
A few things to remember when making biscotti:
- Biscotti is baked twice, once as a large log or loaf, and again as individual slices
- If the dough seems sticky, wet your hands before shaping it into loaves
- The baked loaves are ready to be sliced when you can touch them without burning yourself. A serrated knife works best for slicing
- Finely chopping your mix-ins makes it easier to incorporate them into the dough
- You can make biscotti any size you’d like, which is another great way to control serving size and calories. Slice the loaves diagonally for larger biscotti and straight for smaller biscotti
I slice my biscotti right on the parchment paper, then lay the cut cookies out on the same cookie sheet before returning them to the oven.
You can make just one kind of biscotti with your dough, or divide it and add different mix-ins to make several kinds of biscotti. I usually add one cup of mix-ins to the entire recipe, so if you want two kinds of biscotti, add 1/2 cup of mix-ins to each portion of dough, or 1/3 cup if you divide your dough into thirds. I don’t recommend making more than three kinds of biscotti with this recipe. Your loaves just won’t be big enough to get many cookies from them.
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup Zing™ Baking Blend
- 1 tablespoon almond or anise extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup mix-ins (dried fruit, nuts, chopped chocolate, citrus zest, etc.)
- Melted chocolate, for dipping or drizzling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, beat oil, eggs, Zing™ Baking Blend and extracts until well combined.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add to the egg mixture and mix well to form a dense, heavy dough.
- Divide the dough into 2-3 pieces and add desired mix-ins to each portion. Form each piece of dough into a log 12-15 inches long (depending on how many loaves you are making). Place the logs onto the cookie sheets and flatten to about 1/2-inch thick.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven to a wire rack and cool until cookies are cool enough to handle. Slice each log into 1/2-inch slices.
- Place the sliced cookies, cut side up, back onto the baking sheets. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12-18 minutes, turning once half-way through baking time, or until cookies are lightly toasted and golden.
- If desired, dip in melted chocolate, or drizzle with melted chocolate.
For an extra special treat, I like to dip the biscotti into some melted chocolate. This does add some extra calories though, so you might want to drizzle the chocolate, or just leave it off altogether. Either way, it will still be delicious!
You want your biscotti to be nice and crunchy when it’s done, since it’s a cookie that’s meant for dipping, so bake it as long as you need to to get that dry, crunchy texture. We love dipping biscotti into our hot chocolate, and some hot cocoa mix and homemade biscotti makes a wonderful gift for teachers or neighbors.
These biscotti turned out wonderful with Zing™ Baking Blend, and I’m already planning to try it in some of my other baked goods. I just love knowing I’ve cut some calories from one of my favorite holiday treats.
Do you have a favorite holiday recipe you’d love to slim down using Zing™ Baking Blend?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.