Drunken Dunkin’

When it comes to food friends, cookies and milk are a slam dunk.

I really can’t pick a favorite between Chips Ahoy! and Oreos. But then again, I haven’t met a crumbly creation I didn’t want to drown in a chilled white wave.

Plus, there’s nothing like gulping down every last drop in the glass only to find the scrumptious sediment on the bottom. Right?

Well from that childhood treat comes an adult version, and it’s courtesy of my gal, The Barefoot Contessa.

She was giving tips on easy Italian desserts, and one of them called up on a variation of that dunkable duo.

Her suggestion calls for a sweet Italian dessert wine called Vin Santo. I found a version at a small wine shop near my house. It was about $15 for thin bottle – but it’s worth it.

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Ina poured a glass and dunked biscotti into it. Even after the quick dip, the cookie kept its crunch.

I was immediately hooked.

Several years ago, I made a batch of biscotti – a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. It called for cranberries and pistachios, a Christmas-colored theme. Biscotti are pretty easy to make, really.

The name comes from the fact that they are twice baked, which gives the cookie a dry texture that makes them easy to store for a long time.

For this special pairing, I wanted a biscotto that would draw upon the notes in the wine, almond and lemon specifically.

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I found a recipe on-line from the brilliant Rocco DiSpirito, and did what I do best – tweak the crap out of it. His plan called for 3 to 4 dozen, and since I don’t have a wine cellar under the concrete slab that holds up my home, I halfed it.
Here you go:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 whole egg, and 1 yolk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon

Heat the oven to 375.

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Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl, and the dry ingredients in another. Stir the wet into the dry. It’ll make a heavy dough. Make it into a log.

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Put it onto a lined baking sheet (I used non-stick foil) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it’s golden brown.

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Take it out of the oven and cool it on a wire rack until you can handle it. Then, using a sharp knife, slice the log into strips from top to bottom.

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Place the biscotti back onto the sheet and bake for 6 to 10 minutes.

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So here’s the deal. My oven is a powerful sucker. And after only 20 minutes of baking, my biscotti log was almost burnt on the bottom. I mean, waaaaay too dark.

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Rasp to the rescue.

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I used my microplane, which is usually put to work on citrus, to grind off a very fine layer of the biscotti’s bottom. It was still nicely tanned, but I got rid of the shade that would make even the staff at Hawaiian Tropic look away.

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Use this method to save scorched goodies like cookies and cakes.

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The biscotti were crunchy, and had a subtle sweetness. They stood up to the wine.

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No crumbling or sponginess. I mean, don’t put one in the glass and then go rake the back yard. Just a quick dip’ll do.

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The wine is sweet, but gives your tongue a little nibble. The cookie puts out a bit of the burn from the alcohol.

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Give this a whirl. Let it open up the possibilities. Imagine a dark chocolate cookie dipped in a glass of red wine. Ok… I’m off to buy chocolate chips and a bottle of Apothic.

Tip: For the ultimate cookies and milk experience spike your milk. Try a shot of Disaronno (Italian almond liqueur) in your milk. It’s like velvet. It’d be great with the biscotti recipe from above!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Lu Saylor says:

    Now I will be dreaming about biscotti!! Looks delicious. While I don’t drink alcohol, I can imagine it with a great cup of tea or maybe a mocha-something! What a good save with the microplane too. Will have to try these. My mom can’t have dairy so these would be perfect. We will have to trade biscotti for fruitcake! Thank you for sharing your talents with your readers. We are all blessed. And of course longing for samples!

    1. I’m so thankful to have you as a reader!

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