Anise Almond Honey Biscotti - a healthier version but just as tasty as the original! One serving - 90 kcals, 3 g protein, healthy fats!
Anise Almond Biscotti
Biscotti is an Italian treat, and literally means "twice-cooked". It is first baked as a log/slab and then sliced and baked again into a dry and crunchy cookie. This is my all time favorite snack to bake and eat. I have made this for years and most people who know me have tasted my version.
I have used some whole wheat pastry flour, honey and olive oil to make this version of anise almond honey biscotti. It is always a good idea to take advantage of healthier alternatives, when it is possible to do so without compromising the taste. After all, little drops of water make a mighty ocean. So lets keep building up our ocean of good nutrition!
I think that some sugar is essential for the baking quality of the product. However, there are recipes that use only honey. But considering several factors, I decided to stay with a mix of honey and sugar.
There is absolutely no reason why anyone should only use butter to prepare this cookie. I did a taste test with both the butter and olive oil versions with some people and they were not able to tell the difference.
Plus, I have read that in some parts of the Mediterranean, traditionally also, olive oil is used to bake this cookie. I would use the light olive oil as the flavor is mild and it works well for baking purposes.
I have discussed about the nutritional benefits of using whole wheat pastry flour in my post about a Light and Delicious German Apple Cake.
This version of biscotti has a chock full of almonds in it. Almonds are loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, unsaturated fats, fiber and are widely appreciated for their nutritional benefits.
Research has shown that consumption of almonds can boost plasma vitamin E levels and thereby protect against the artery clogging oxidation of cholesterol. Almonds have also shown promise in reducing the risk of colon cancer.
These delicious nuts are known for reducing coronary heart disease risk factors and improving blood lipid profile. One study reported a reduction in blood pressure and improved blood flow as a result of consumption of almonds.
Anise almond honey biscotti keep very well for a long time. Make a big batch - store it for later use, share it with family and friends, and just eat it!!
More Delicious Treats:
- Maamoul (Date Filled Cookies)
- Vanillekipferl (German Crescent Cookies)
- Persian Chickpea Cookies
- Luscious Date Chocolate Avocado Truffles
- Amaranth Date Energy Balls with Cashews
★ DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE COMMENT AND GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW!
Zaalouk (Moroccan Eggplant Dip)
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Prick the eggplants with a fork in couple spots and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the skin turns darker and shrinks. Check foot notes for grilling, broiling or stove top options.
- The eggplants should be cooked through completely in the center. To check, press the back of a fork on the eggplant. It should compress easily all the way into the center without any resistance.
- Cut through the eggplant skin and scoop out the soft cooked flesh and mash it with a fork and set aside.
- Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, discarding some seeds if you wish. See note below for peeled and deseeded tomatoes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan at medium setting. Add the chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne or chili powder, ⅓ teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes are softened, stirring in between, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the mashed eggplants and cilantro. Continue to cook over low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, mashing it if needed, into a thick but slightly textured dip like consistency.
- Stir in lemon juice and salt. Adjust as per taste, let it cool and transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate it overnight before serving.
- Take the zaalouk from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving and let it come to room temperature. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes if you prefer.
- Chunky Zaalouk: To make a chunkier but less traditional zaalouk, insert garlic cloves into eggplant and roast it in the oven at 400˚F, along with the tomatoes. Chop the eggplants and tomatoes. Add the spices, herbs, half the olive oil, salt and mash it up to desired consistency. Drizzle olive oil and serve.
- Cooking Eggplants:
- Grill: Roast eggplants on charcoal or gas grill for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them slowly in between, until skin turns darker and shrinks.
- Broil: Cut eggplants lengthwise into halves and place the cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Place on the second rack and broil until skin turns darker and shrinks, about 20 minutes.
- Stovetop: Peel the eggplants completely, only some stripes or leave the skin on if you don’t mind it. Cut the eggplants into small pieces. Steam on high heat until soft or cook in a pan with some water until soft and mushy.
- Easy Zaalouk: Combine all ingredients with ⅓ cup of water and cook it over stove top until softened. Mash it up well and drizzle olive oil.
- Peeled and deseeded tomatoes: If you prefer, you can blanch the tomatoes. Cut a small cross on the surface of tomatoes and dump them in hot boiling water. After a minute, pick out the tomatoes and peel the skin, cut them into halves and deseed. Chop them into small pieces.
- Use more tomatoes if you want the dip to be saucy. You may even try using a little bit of tomato paste to give it thickness.
- Leftovers: Can be refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. You can freeze zaalouk for couple months. Thaw and reheat. Adjust the consistency, evaporating or adding water as needed. Check the seasoning as well.
- Nutrition facts not including any added salt.
- For other variations, tips and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.
Anise Almond Honey Biscotti
- 3¼ cups flour half whole wheat pastry flour + half all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6½ tablespoons olive oil light
- 5 tablespoons honey light
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon almond extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ tablespoons anise seeds ground, adjust per taste
- 3 eggs small
- 1 cup almonds whole, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons egg white
- 1 tablespoon sugar raw, turbinado
- Position the rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Prepare the baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl - sift the flour, baking powder and salt. In a larger bowl - mix oil, honey, sugar, eggs, almond extract and ground aniseed.
- Combine the flour mixture and egg mixture and stir with wooden spoon until well blended. Finally mix in the chopped almonds.
- The dough may be a bit sticky. Chill the dough in the refrigerator to allow it to firm up.
- Divide dough in half. With floured hands, roll each dough portion into a cylindrical log about 10 inches long.
- Carefully transfer both logs to prepared baking sheet spacing apart. Gently flatten and shape each portion into a 12 inch long and 3½ inch wide log and make sure they are about 3 inches apart on the baking sheet, as the logs will spread while baking.
- Bake logs until golden brown about 25 minutes. Allow the baked logs to cool down completely. This step is important. You may give it some hours.
- Lower the oven temperature to 300ºF.
- Transfer the baked logs to a wooden cutting board. Using a "sharp" knife cut logs diagonally into ½ inch wide slices.
- Place the slices on the baking sheet, cut side down. Bake about 10 minutes and turn the biscotti over; bake about 8 to 10 minutes on the other side until just beginning to color.
- Transfer to rack and cool. The anise almond honey biscotti should be dry and crisp. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
- When oil is used in place of butter, it is usually needed in a reduced amount than butter. In this recipe ½ cup of butter would have been needed instead of oil.
- When honey is used in place of sugar, it is usually needed in smaller quantity and adjustments are made to the amount of liquid added. In this recipe if only sugar were to be used, one whole cup of sugar would have been required.
- The baking temperature should be lower when the batter/dough is prepared with honey. But if only sugar is used then it is to be baked at 350ºF. For the second round of baking I used 300ºF, but if there was no honey it would have been 325ºF.
- For the almond extract, I used about ½ teaspoon just to give a hint of almond flavor. But for any other brands, you may want to use it judiciously as per your taste preference.
- I prefer to use egg whites for the final brushing as it does not impart a strong flavor unlike the whole egg which may impart an eggy flavor.
- The baking times may vary slightly with the oven. The recipe may easily be halved and after one or two trials you will determine what works best in your oven. It is important to bake it well to a dry crispness.