Our basement has become a virtual coffee maker museum. If you were to go down to my basement storage room, you’d find among the spiderwebs a French press, a vintage percolator I rescued from an about-to-be-torn-down house, a standard drip, a Chemex and an Aeropress, half a dozen bags of good beans and still I can’t make a decent cup of coffee. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I must rely on baristas to make them for me on a regular basis, and that yes, if I saved all the money I spent and put it in a jar I could go on a fabulous vacation every year, but I’d rather have all that good coffee.
I’m also coming to terms with the fact that I really like something carby to go with. Generally I like my cookies chewy, with a crisp edge; dry, hard biscotti isn’t my thing, but it turns out crisp, dunkable-in-coffee biscotti totally is. I may even sneak a few in my laptop bag to the coffice.
These biscotti are made with beans, giving them a bit of a protein boost that alleviates some of the guilt associated with eating cookies for breakfast. And if I hadn’t told you, and you hadn’t seen the recipe, you’d never know – beans don’t have a particularly strong flavour, and so they’ll go along with whatever you want them to. Generally I use white kidney beans for aesthetic reasons, but I gave red ones a go out of curiosity and they turned out a lovely pecan colour. I’ll draw the line at black beans.
Related: my kitchen is still intact. But it’s getting close! These home renos are more work than I thought, particularly with a 100 year old house. Oy. Updates soon!
Apricot-Almond & Kidney Bean Breakfast Biscotti
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or any combination of all-purpose and whole wheat)
1 cup oats
3/4 cup sugar (white or brown)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup canned red or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained (half a 19 oz/540 mL can)
1/4 cup orange juice or milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt; pulse until the oats are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse to blend. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
Put the beans, juice, oil, egg and vanilla into the food processor and pulse until smooth; add to the dry ingredients along with the almonds and apricots, or whatever additions you would like to add. Stir just until the dough comes together.
Shape the dough into a log on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray (the dough will be a bit sticky-dampening your hands helps), flattening it so that it’s about 15 inches long and 4 inches wide. (Divide the dough into two if it doesn’t fit on your cookie sheet, or make longer, thinner logs for smaller biscotti.) If you like, sprinkle the top with coarse sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then cut on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices using a serrated knife. Stand the biscotti upright on the baking sheet, spacing them about half an inch apart, and bake for another 30 minutes, until crisp and dry.
Makes about 2 dozen biscotti.