Step aside crackers, a new love has entered into this Spicegirl’s life. Happy hour has just gotten a bit happier. Wine and cheese met a savory new companion to take to the party. The flavors mingled, flirted and fell in love.
You never know when someone special will come into your life, in just a wink of an eye, a casual smile, a knowing look. Or in this case, an unexpected email, from a Savoring follower, describing a savory cracker recipe full of butter that she wondered could be possibly made into a biscotti?
I had been playing around with the idea of another appetizer/savory biscotti lately, something similar to my Red Wine Biscotti. I was away for the weekend when Liz suggested a biscotti with gruyere cheese, walnuts and thyme. Just the thought of that had me so inspired to get back to my kitchen to test it out!
Eager to make a batch, I used what I had on hand, smoked gouda and sundried tomatoes. I basically followed the recipe for the Red Wine Biscotti and it turned out just perfect! I love it when I don’t have to keep tweaking a recipe to get it just right! Easily this can be adapted to using nuts instead of the sundried tomato, or even in addition to. Liz made some with Pecorino Romano and aged Mozzarella, toasted walnuts, and a mix of rosemary/thyme/basil for the herbs and black pepper. In several emails back and forth we were both thinking of endless other variations!
The dough was perfectly manageable, not too sticky, formed and rolled beautifully into two logs. After the first bake, I sliced the biscotti thinner than what I would for a “cookie” biscotti and therefore, while I like to stand up my biscotti during the second bake, I had to lay them flat and turn them over after 10 minutes of baking.
Cooled completely, they are not hard as a cracker, but perfect crispy enough to dip into wine, top with a bit of jam or tapenade, or a slice of cheese. They are perfect to make ahead and can be frozen; which I quickly needed to do so I would not nibble away at the entire batch!
Savory Sundried Tomato and Herb Biscotti
2 ½ cups all-purpose unbleached flour or whole/wheat white flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
3 tablespoons herbs de Provence
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup gouda, grated, or cheese of your choice
2 -3 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, reconstituted in boiling water, drained, then diced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor, combined all dry together in the processor, then added in the wet, processing until a ball of dough forms – sticky but very manageable to form into two logs. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, allow to rest 10 minutes, reducing oven temp to 325 degrees.
Slice thin and return to oven for 10 minutes. I normally stand up my biscotti and bake for 20 minutes but because I sliced these thin, I laid them on their sides, bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake an additional 10 on the other side till crisp. Store covered. Makes about 3 dozen.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.