Breakfast Biscotti

I can't really encourage you to have these cookies for breakfast. Yes, they have granola and oats, dried fruit and nutritious almonds, but even I, who adore sweets, can't get behind cookies for breakfast. But minutes after breakfast -- now that's a different story. I'm all for taking these to morning meetings, packing them in lunch boxes, stowing them in picnic baskets or making them a coffee-break staple. They have a grainy, wholesome flavor and a crunch that makes them addictive. I like them with chopped almonds and dried cranberries, but almost any nut and dried fruit will work (as long as the pieces are not too large -- chop them if they are). Think pistachios and cherries, or walnuts and raisins, for instance. Since the biscotti get most of their flavor from the granola, find a cereal that you like enough to eat out of hand. You can be flexible with it too -- the only caveat is to beware hard, shriveled fruit. If you find granola without fruit, use it. If not, check the fruit, and if it's not moist (and most of the time it's not), pick out and discard the culprits, knowing that they won't get any softer, moister or tastier once baked.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 50 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: Makes about 40 cookies
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Ingredients

2 cups (272 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick (8 tablespoons) (4 ounces) (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Finely grated zest of 1 orange or tangerine (optional)

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup (27 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

1 cup (110 grams) granola (see Headnote)

1/4 cup (about 35 grams) almonds (whole or slivered, blanched or unblanched), coarsely chopped

1/4 cup (30 grams) plump, moist dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon (if you're using it) and baking soda together.
  3. Working in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, salt and citrus zest, if you're using it, on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each one goes in. (Don't be discouraged if the mixture curdles at this point.) Beat in the oats and scrape the bowl again. With the mixer off, add the dry ingredients all at once. Pulse the mixer a couple of times and then beat on low speed until the flour is almost incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, add the granola, almonds and cranberries and mix on low only until blended into the dough.
  4. Turn the dough out and divide it in half. Put each piece a few inches away from one of the long sides of the baking sheet -- leave room between the pieces, because they'll expand in the oven. Use your fingers and a spatula to shape each piece of dough into a rectangle that's 10 to 12 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches wide. The logs will be ragged and rough, but that's fine.
  5. Bake the logs for about 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after about 15 minutes; the logs should be cracked and lightly browned but still squeezable. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the logs rest for 20 minutes.
  6. If you have turned off your oven, bring it back to 350 degrees F.
  7. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the logs to a cutting board and, with a long serrated knife, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Return the slices to the baking sheet -- placing them cut side down -- and slide the sheet back into the oven. Bake the biscotti for another 15 minutes. Pull the sheet from the oven, flip over the biscotti and bake for about 10 minutes more, or until they are a golden brown and almost firm to the touch -- they'll get harder as they cool. Transfer them to racks to cool completely.

Cook’s Note

Storing: These will keep for at least 1 week at room temperature in a covered container. You can even leave them out in a basket -- if they get a little hard, just dip them a little longer in whatever you're sipping along with them.

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