One of this week’s contests on food52 is Your Best Italian Dessert, and the first thing that came to mind was my stepgrandmother’s biscotti, one of my top two favorite things she used to make. (My other favorite was pesto. Every summer we’d give her basil plants, which she would return in the form of pesto.) The whole (Spanish/Italian) side of the family called her Nonni of course, except for me, who as a transplant into the family, just called her Grandma.
I made some changes to the original recipe, which I posted below for you normal eaters. Wheat has been treating me even worse than usual, so I used buckwheat, which I was lamenting my lack of access to until I discovered on Wikipedia this afternoon that it’s the same as trigo sarraceno, which I have in our pantry. Now I have no excuse not to make Buckwheat Apple Pancakes!
I am very excited about this discovery. You have no idea. I see so many buckwheat recipes all over, and have been very upset about not being able to get my hands on it.
Anyway, keep in mind that buckwheat doesn’t taste like wheat. So if you don’t have digestive issues with wheat, go for it.
I also used organic blond sugar instead of white sugar. And despite having searched all the party stores (which down here is where you get baking supplies), I have had no luck finding maple flavoring, or even fake maple syrup (I had no illusions about coming across the real stuff).
I decided to do half of the batch plain, according to the original recipe, and half with cocoa, so I added 1/4 cup of cocoa to half the mixture, which you can see above and below in the photos.
Also, I used about 1/4 cup of almond slivers, which I pressed into the top of the batter.
So here goes…
1 cup Olive oil
4 cups Flour (again, I used buckwheat)
1 1/3 cups Sugar, part brown & part white (I used part brown and part blond)
5 Eggs, large
1 T Vanilla
1/2 t. Maple flavoring
2 1/2 t. Baking powder
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
Sift dry ingredients. Add moist; stir until well blended.
Grease one 11 x 13″ glass baking dish and one loaf pan with olive oil and spread the mixture inside both (it doesn’t all fit in one pan). Make sure it’s not more than 1/2 ” thick.
Bake for 15 minutes (buckwheat required an extra 5 minutes or so), and remove pans.
Lower heat to 350°F/175°C while you cut biscotti into strips, about a finger’s length and width. Place on buttered baking sheet, or better yet, Silpat.
Bake once more for 15 minutes (buckwheat required an additional 10 minutes) or until the biscotti reach their desired hardness. My grandmother used to leave them a little soft, and so did my mother.
Glaze if desired. I didn’t. I figured I’d used enough sugar for the day. Or month.