In Seattle, the trees and flowers never seem to stop growing. Now before I really get into this post – I want to explain something – I am not a gardener. That is my husband’s area. I focus on the inside of the house – he deals with the outside. I have never really had an interest in flowers or flowering trees – the only plants I really get into growing are herbs, and that is purely because I can use them in the kitchen. It is so nice to always have fresh herbs to cook with. So – it annoys me at times that in Seattle, there is always something blooming. I just looked out the kitchen window the other day, and yes, in the dead of the winter, there are flowers starting to bloom. At least I actually noticed them – I remember when I was in college, my mother asked me to water the flowers outside while they were away. They came home, and the flowers were dead. She was livid – and would you believe that I didn’t even realize there were flower boxes on attached to the house that she wanted me to water? I just thought she was talking about the big pot outside the front door.
One of the most prolific plants out here is rosemary – I have actually seen it used as a hedge – it grows that much. Rosemary is awesome, I love having a fresh rosemary plant that I can use whenever I am roasting meat, potatoes, vegetables – the sky is the limit. But, I don’t often bake with rosemary – that was until I made these at The Pantry. These were such a unique cookie – they were sweet, crunchy and herbaceous – which is really not how I have ever described a cookie before. I couldn’t stop eating them because they were so unique. So – if you are sick of looking at that overgrown rosemary plant in your back yard, here is an idea – instead of using it for your roasted chicken, how about a batch of these? They almost made me appreciate my garden just a little bit more – which is a good thing – I think.
- 2 ¼ ounces (1/2 cup) coarsely chopped almonds
- 1 ounce (1/4 cup) coarsely chopped hazelnuts
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 4 ½ ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ ounces (1/2 cup) coarse yellow cornmeal
- 3 ¾ ounces (1/2 cup) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- Egg wash made with 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they are lightly golden, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool; keep oven on.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and add orange zest and rosemary. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a mixture, mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and baking soda, anise seeds and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Add the cooled butter mixture and mix to combine. Stir in the nuts, then let rest for a few minutes.
With wet hands, form the dough into a log 2 inches wide and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the log with the egg wash and bake until it is a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let it cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven to 200 degrees.
Once cooled, using a serrated knife, slide the log on the diagonal into ¼ inch slides. Arrange the biscotti on two parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until crisp, about 1 hour.
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Makes about 30 biscotti.
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