Ever since I got my heart broken, I am talking about my heart shaped cookie cutter, during my valentines cookies baking day, I had been looking for a new heart. The new one should have what the old one couldn’t provide: made of metal (not plastic) with sharp edges to cut though dough, chocolate chunks and with a little more pressure through nuts. The size had been a kind of important too, I like cookies I can nibble on but not the one which equals size wise a whole meal. And why I am telling you all this? Because yesterday I found the perfect heart shape, I came home itching to cut some cookies, opened one of my cookbooks but unexpected I felt in love with this cornmeal and olive oil biscotti. Unfortunately this is not a job for my new heart.
This cookies are good for your heart because they contain no butter, don’t get me wrong I love butter cookies. These biscottis are made with some good nuts, cornmeal, dried fruits and the exciting thing olive oil. Depending on the olive oil you use the intensity of the flavor can vary and will be best fruity with low acid. I am kind of hooked to extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany especially from the area around Lucca, the people there are proud of their “best” and unrivaled olive oil, of cause that’s what they told us. 🙂 However it is like a culinary souvenir for me and a reminder to all the vacations Mr F, our dog Lily and myself spend there. We always had been coming home with a trunk full of olive oil, seasonings, herbs and wine and I still miss the good food especially the gelato. Wanderlust makes me hungry!
Olive oil tends to make cookies softer than butter, adding cornmeal is necessary for the crunchiness. They will great for up to three weeks in an airtight container.
adapted from chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich
12 dried plums pitted
3 tablespoons amaretto liquor
130 g / 4.5 oz (about 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) raw almonds or pecans
140 g / 1 cup all-purpose flour
100 g / 2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
130 g / 2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
Cut the dried plums in small chunks, pour into a small bowl and add the amaretto liquor, stir until the plums are well coated. Let stand for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170 C / 350 F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
Optional for more flavor: roast the nuts (while the oven is preheating anyway), don’t remove the peal and don’t let them get black. Let cool before adding to the batter.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In a large bowl beat the liquid ingredients for about 3 minutes, add the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well combined you there are no lumps left. Add the plums with the amaretto and the nuts and stir, works great with a rubber spatula.
Form 2 loafs or one big loaf (I prefer smaller biscotti because they don’t break so easy) on the baking sheet and bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden.
Turn the oven temperature down to 160 C / 325 F. Remove from the baking sheet, place on a cutting board and let cool at least 15 minutes this makes the cutting easier. Cut into 1.5 to 2 cm / about 3/4 inch slices. You find here some more tips, scroll down to the recipe.
Transfer the slices back to the baking sheet, lay them flat and bake 15 to 20 minutes turning after 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.