08 March 2011

Stubborn Biscuits

A somewhat frequent morning tradition of mine is to stop by one of the many Blue Bottle locations on my morning commute (Original or Mint Plaza if by bike, Ferry Plaza if by MUNI/foot) and get two things: a soy mocha and a biscotti regina. There is a proper order to this: wait for the drink. Bite the biscotti; chew and swallow. Talk a small sip of the mocha. Repeat until biscotti is gone. The combination of the sesame and slight anise in the biscotti pairs with the bittersweet mocha. So I want to re-create that. Except I'm a stubborn one, and I refuse to look up a recipe for bisoctti regina because it looks and tastes very much like a shortbread. So I experiment.
Looking at the picture, and having eaten on of these biscottis yourself, you may think: success! That is, until you bite it and are greeted with... a thick shortbread. Very much a dessert, not an almost-savory pairing for a liquid one.
My thinking was this: take a shortbread. Add baking powder to give it some fluff. Add some olive oil to give it some air. Coat it in milk to both soften it when it cooks and to also get the seeds to stick. Lessen the amount of sugar to cut the sweetness. So I did all of these things, but it was not enough. The inside is still far too dense, and I refuse to increase the batch size so I can include egg. I will find another way. Next up: adding a little more liquid to the dough itself (milk or water or more olive oil, I don't know) and playing with the butter : flour ratio. Recipe follows, if you want it for reference.

Dense Sesame Biscuit
Makes a single biscuit
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
very small amount coconut milk
sesame seeds

Cream the butter, then add sugar and cream again. Add flour and mix until it starts clumping, at which point you add the olive oil and baking powder. Stir until it mostly forms into a ball, then finish mixing/shaping with your hands into an oblong cigar-ish shape. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove biscuit from oven, brush with coconut milk, then roll in sesame seeds. Cook for ~20 minutes. Let cool for 30 before eating (they should not be eaten warm).

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