I was looking to bake something not too sweet and nice and crunchy. Something to snack on at work. I used to make a biscotti that contained a hearty mix in of a specific brand of Cranberry Almond Crunch cereal – the recipe was no doubt a plug for Kraft, but was damn tasty. Baking this biscotti was an event in my college apartment – I more than once set off the smoke detector. I would pull the biscotti after the second bake, determine it was not crunchy enough, throw it back in for a few more minutes – and then fully forget about it. Mmmm, yummy little charred black bits.
Should I step it up, toss the Kraft recipe? Nah. But I will make a change.
Banana nut biscotti sounded good. How could I resist this resting under a TJ’s sign showing a friendly gorilla devouring some crunchy clusters?
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups Banana Nut Crunch cereal, crushed (I used the TJ version)
- 1 ounce square baker’s semi-sweet baking chocolate (for drizzling on top)
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Mix flour, baking powder and salt until well blended; set aside. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, bananas and vanilla; beat until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until well blended after each addition. Stir in crushed cereal.
Divide dough in half with floured hands; place on lightly floured surface to avoid sticking. Roll each half into a mini log/loaf. You will slice this into pieces after the first bake. Place the logs, 2 inches apart, on nonstick baking sheet. (I used parchment paper).
Bake 25 to 30 minute or until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet to wire rack; cool 5 minute Transfer to cutting board. Use serrated knife to diagonally cut each log into approx. 12 slices. Place, cut-sides up and 1/2 inch apart, on same baking sheet. Bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes** or until slightly dry. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
Optional: Melt chocolate as directed on package (you can also melt in the micro – keep an eye on it); drizzle over biscotti. Let stand until chocolate is firm. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature. (I opted out)
**And so, I did it again. After 15 minutes and a decent cool down, the biscotti still had a little softness to it. I knew it would crunch up in a few days but I could not help myself. Back in the oven for ‘just a sec’.
Well, halfway into an episode of ‘Chopped’, I remembered the the little guys and expected the worst. No smoke detector issues, but the goods were starting to brown. (Lesson: they may need more than 15 but do set a timer).
As I had planned to take some to work, I was a little annoyed. These didn’t look so great. And to be honest, using the cereal tends to give them a crumbly/crunchier texture – they slice decently for the second bake, but are not perfect.
However, they are tasty. The banana flavor is very subtle and I actually might add more mashed banana if I made these again. I would think a white chocolate chip might be good here as well.
And not feeling like sharing these with others due to their appearance? Really not a problem.