Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Making Parmesan and Black Pepper Biscotti

So I decided to try a new recipe... Parmesan and Black Pepper Biscotti. Comments on the recipe suggested that adding some chopped fresh rosemary was a nice addition. So this is what I set out to do.

First, the parmesan. The recipe suggested using the King of Cheeses - Parmigiano Reggiano. I never cared much for the usual Parmesan cheeses, like the bland grated Parmesan that Kraft pushes, but Parmigiano Regginao is very different - it is delightful, with a nice sharp taste. The downside is that this is an expensive cheese, $39/kg at most grocery stores but can be purchased at a big box store for $29/kg and is sometimes even on sale (like when I purchased it).

Once you have the grated Parmesan cheese, you add the coarsely ground black peppercorns to the flour and baking powder and mix it in. I used Freda's coffee grinder for grinding spices once before, but it's not recommended to do that if you're grinding pepper. So I found a coffee grinder to grind the peppercorns, it cost me just over $7, so now I don't need to worry about contaminating the coffee grinder with other flavours.

The recipe didn't call for rosemary, but commenters on the recipe suggested it. So I chopped up some fresh rosemary and mixed it into the flour mixture. Then I mixed the butter in with the flour.

The next step was to whisk the eggs with the milk, and then add it to the flour mixture, stirring it with a fork to make a soft dough. I thought this would be hard to do, but it was quite easy.

The next step is to form the dough into four "logs" on ungreased cookie sheets. Biscotti normally calls for putting it on parchment paper, so I was going to do that but, as luck would have it, there was only a short piece left for one cookie sheet. Then you whisk up the last egg and brush that on top of the logs, and then sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese and black pepper on top.

The logs are baked in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes, and then cut the logs diagonally and put them back on the cookie sheet for the second baking for 35-45 minutes at 300, turning them over once.

This is the biscotti after the second baking, and when they are cooling on the rack.

I've never been a big fan of biscotti, because they are usually so hard even after dunking into your coffee. Traditionally, biscotti is made with almonds, so that's another reason that I haven't been a big fan of them. Unlike the dessert-type of biscotti, these savoury biscotti have a slightly crumbly texture and, I have to say, are truly wonderful and were a hit with everyone who tried them.

The recipe wasn't difficult to make and it turned out quite well and it was not difficult to make them look very esthetically appealing.

Overall, I would give this recipe an A+ for ease of making and also for the results. Yummy!

You can find the recipe at


Anonymous said...

Hey Mark, can you send me the recipe (or link) to me at work (I'm off til Jan 4th though) - rc

Mark said...

Hey RC,

I added the url for the recipe to the blog entry. I definitely would make these again!