Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Jenn at Peas and Crayons is hosting another WIAW with this month’s theme of healthy– and possibly spooky–snacking!

Today I have a delicious and un-spooky recipe for biscotti from my mom’s cook book, Biscotti and Other Low-Fat Cookies by Maria Robbins. Since the holiday season of giving and receiving goodies is slowly coming upon us, any recipe from this book would be a great way to treat yourself (and your friends!) to something sweet without going overboard on the fat and calories.

I’ll do a quick run-down of some foods I’ve enjoyed this past week, starting with breakfast that my husband prepared for us on Sunday:

German breakfast: baked pretzels and sausages.

Here’s another delicious breakfast I tried as soon as I read the recipe. Created by Regan at The Professional Palate, It’s not really a breakfast, but it turned out that way after I drank my fill of this quick and easy dairy-free eggnog made with silken tofu:

Creamy and delicious!

I haven’t taken may photos of my lunches since they’re usually the same thing day in, day out (Chobani plain nonfat yogurt mixed with vanilla protein powder and fresh fruit). But since I was experimenting with tofu recently, I did have this the other day:

Tofu and steamed grated cauliflower make the bulk of skinny tofu patties.

And last night’s dinner after a tee-rrific run was pannekoeken:

Pannekoeken–Dutch pancakes–topped with sauteed apples, currants, and soon to be drizzled with dark amber agave.

I’ve been experimenting with pannekoeken for the past several weeks and will post a recipe later this week, so stay tuned!

Now…on to the biscotti!

mom’s biscotti book

I borrowed this cook book from my mom a few years ago and–like many of you moms and daughters know–it may take a while to make it back to its original owner. I know I should give it back because I certainly wouldn’t like it if someone didn’t return something they borrowed from me. But there’s sentimental value to this book that makes it difficult to part with. I love books in general, particularly second-hand books (browsing thrift stores is like a treasure hunt!) There’s already history to the book, it made fond memories for someone else (and really, can any of us associate a bad memory with our treasured books?) Pages might be marked up or dog-eared, and you might even find a memento like a receipt or business card used in place of a book mark…or something else:

Dukie (left) and Bear doing her business at the pond, circa 1989.

I made only four biscotti recipes so far, here is one of them. Biscotti are no more difficult to make than regular cookies. They use no butter so contain a LOT less fat, and are great for dunking in your coffee or tea. Aside from being a great coffee break snack, biscotti are perfect for sending to friends and family, just be sure to pack them tightly wrapped in foil and sealed in a ziploc bag.

I tried making them with spelt flour, which made them very crumbly:

Spelt flour biscotti: more crumbly, not good for shipping.

Not good for shipping, but still good for eating!

Below is the recipe for biscotti from Biscotti and Other Low-Fat Cookies by Maria Robbins. I hope you try it!

Chocolate Chip and Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Chip and Almond Biscotti

1 cup almonds, toasted (preheat oven to 350 F, spread nuts in a single layer on baking pan & roast until nuts are very hot and start to have a definite aroma, about 10-15 minutes, then cool.)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips mixed with 2 tablespoons flour (I skip the flour-mixing step!)
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place 1/3 c of the toasted almonds together with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process to a fine meal. Remove to a small bowl. Place the remaining toasted almonds and 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar in the food processor and pulse on and off to a coarse meal. Add this mixture to the other ground nuts.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix together the ground almonds, remaining sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, egg whites and vanilla extract and mix at low speed until you have a dough that holds together. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

    brushing biscotti logs with egg white wash

  4. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two, until the dough feels smooth. Divide into 4 equal pieces and shape each piece into a log about 12 inches long. Arrange the logs on the baking sheet, flatten the tops gently with the palm of your hand and brush the tops with the beaten egg white.
  5. Bake the logs for about 20-25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch and lightly colored. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

    Bake, cool, slice, then bake again.

  6. Slide the baked logs, one at a time, onto a cutting board. Use a long serrated knife (bread knife) to cut each log diagonally into ½-inch slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut sides down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti for 5 minutes on each side. (Note: I increased time to 7 minutes on the 1st side, then checked after 7 minutes on 2nd side. They will get crisp after a couple minutes sitting out of the oven, but if they are still not crisp, put them in for 2-3 minutes more and check again.)
  7. Transfer the biscotti to wire racks and let cool completely. Store the biscotti at room temperature in airtight containers. They will keep for about a month.

Yield: about 48 biscotti.

Don’t forget to check out what other WIAW bloggers are sharing at http://www.peasandcrayons.com/2012/10/what-i-ate-wednesday-92-even-more.html.

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