We are just a few days away from the start of another school year…wow, where did the summer go? My grandson is entering middle school…this totally blows me away because I moved to my small town when he was born so I could help with his care…and that was eleven years ago. He is almost as tall as I am and, at eleven, likes all the things that preteen boys like to do…yikes! I remember when my son was that age. They can be so adorable and so dorky at the same time. My routine “grandma duties” have diminished and one of my most important jobs now is keeping the cookie jar full.
My grandkids like to take a sack lunch rather than buy cafeteria food and a prerequisite for good lunchbox cookies is that they hold up well in a backpack. Ones that crumble to pieces don’t cut it. They like cookies that aren’t fancy and have lots of flavor. Biscotti fills that bill and the great thing about this recipe is that endless variations can be made by changing up what is added to the dough…and a swiggle of frosting, either chocolate or white, is all the decoration that is needed. I like good quality dried fruits and always have a selection on hand for several of my favorite recipes. I chose kiwi, apricots, blueberries and cantaloupe for this batch of biscotti and it reminds me of a summer fruit salad. If you haven’t made biscotti before this is a good recipe to start with. It’s easy to handle…the dough is shaped into logs and partially baked, then sliced and rebaked until lightly browned. The cookies keep well and hold up nicely in a lunch sack or backpack.
If baking cookies is on your “to-do” list for your back-to-schoolers here are a few more of our favorites that you might like. There isn’t a better after school snack that a plate of homemade cookies…especially if Grandma made them.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups mixed dried fruit, coarsely chopped. I used kiwi, cantaloupe, apricots and blueberries
- Chopped nuts may be substituted for part of the fruit
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour and baking powder.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until the mixture thickens and holds its shape, about 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then mix in the chopped dried fruit..
- On a lightly floured work surface divide the dough in half. Using floured hands shape each half into a log 3 inches in diameter. Set the logs length wise on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper, evenly spacing them apart. Dampen your hands and smooth the surface of the logs.
- Bake, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking, until the logs are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. (They will flatten out a bit during baking). Remove the baking sheet from the oven and decrease the temperature to 300 degrees. Let the logs cool on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the logs to a cutting board. With a serrated knife cut each log diagonally into slices ½-inch thick. Place the cookies, cut side up, in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the biscotti are firm, about 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through baking. Let cool completely. They will continue to firm up as they cool. Drizzle cooled biscotti with chocolate if desired.
- Store in an airtight container.