Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Dark Chocolate, Pistachio & Orange Oat (Breakfast) Biscuits

It's hard for me to say what I like baking the most.

Brownies, cookies, pastries and pies..... when it comes down to it I realize that the things I like baking the most are things I can make with my hands. Those things that turn out better when made with a bowl and a spatula than when made with a machine.

Whenever I bake for my in-laws, they always ask if I want the mixer. I think sometimes everyone wants an excuse to use their gadgets right? But I'm so partial to a bowl and a spoon. It feels like I'm actually doing the work, more satisfying and more intimate. I can feel the textures and get a better sense as to where the recipe is going.

Of course when you're making a trillion cookies in a bakery, then machines are your saving grace. But, that only comes after you've meticulously crafted the artisan version in small batches and scientifically scaled up.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio & Orange Oat Biscuits come together in one glass bowl, a spatula and a bit of light chopping. I'm only making 16 today so my machine stays below the bench.

Pistachio, chocolate and orange are a classic combination for traditional Italian biscotti and that's where I got my inspiration for this recipe.

I go bonkers for chewy, gooey, sugar-laden cookies. High five for that! But today I'm taking another route with tender-crumbed, crisp yet soft biscuit-y cookies perfect for dunking. Get your coffee, get your tea kinda cookies. They take inspiration from biscotti, but certainly not as hard and only once-baked.

These have less sugar and some hearty oats and almond butter for a satisfying and satiating nibble. Take them for breakfast and live life proper, no?

When using chocolate in cookie doughs, I always go for block chocolate and chop it up myself. Mostly the best chocolate comes in blocks, not chipits.

Butter, almond butter, sugar and molasses in the bowl.

One whole egg plus vanilla and almond extracts too.

Measure out your dry ingredients, and if you are keen you are weighing with a scale or you know the "spoon & sweep" method. Good on ya.

Dry ingredients in! The oats went in with the egg to soften them up.

Add-ins in!

Soft cookie dough goes into the fridge for 30 minutes. Cover the bowl first.

Portion out the dough - I get 16 cookies. Flatten them out on the baking tray.

Ready for the oven.

Ready for my mouth.

Drizzle with white chocolate.

Drizzle a lot.

They are tender crisp, perfect for dunking into a cup of tea or coffee. The oats bake right into the dough, almost making them unidentifiable, but you know that makes them hiddenly healthy and substantial. You can achieve this by mixing the oats into the creamed butter/sugar/egg mixture and letting it stand for several minutes before adding the flour. This allows the oats to hydrate a bit.

Big sweet love to you.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Oat Biscuits
makes 16-17 cookies

7 tbsp (100g) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 tbsp almond butter
2 tsp fancy molasses
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
½ tsp orange zest
1 large egg
½ cup (50g) regular rolled oats
1 ¼ cups (180g) all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup (65g) chopped pistachios
2 oz (56g) dark chocolate, chopped
2 oz (56g) white chocolate, melted for drizzling

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar, almond butter, molasses, vanilla, almond extract and orange zest until smooth, creamy and a bit lighter in colour. Mix in egg until well incorporated. Stir in oats. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl and stir it in gently. Finally fold in pistachios and chocolate. 

Cover the bowl and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll heaped tablespoons of dough into balls and place onto prepared baking trays, spacing them 2 inches apart. Flatten the dough balls on the tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Transfer cookies individually to a wire rack to cool, then drizzle with melted white chocolate. 
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