biscotti and cheese… yes, please!

Biscotti are in my blood and have been since birth. One of my first memories is standing in my great-grandmother’s kitchen and watching her make these lovely long cookies.  I love visiting my parents and finding Biscotti on the cookie plate ready for the taking! All you need is a great cup of cocoa and you’re ready to go-no matter how hot it is outside!  On a recent visit back home I was surprised to find an Aged Gouda with Walnut Biscotti instead of the usual almond ones.  Let me just say… I’m hooked!

These savory gems were paired with an olive tapenade and served as an appetizer… they were the hit of the weekend! I highly recommend giving this recipe a try and pairing the biscotti with our Bella Famiglia Tapenade Green Olive and with the Belle Glos Pinot Noir “Meiomi” 2009 for a fantastic evening!  This is a wonderful recipe year round, however there’s something about the fall that makes these seem perfect right about now; maybe it’s the colors changing and the cooler temperatures that really bring out the depth of flavor, but whatever the reason, this a superb comfort food.

Aged Gouda Biscotti with Walnuts

1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
8 ounces Uniekaas Gouda 5 year, shredded (2 cups)
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 teaspoon David’s Gourmet Kosher Salt
6 tablespoons Isigny Ste Mère Unsalted Butter, softened

1. In a medium bowl, combine the yeast with 1/2 cup of the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and 3/4 cup of the flour to form a sponge; cover and let stand until billowy, about 30 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups of flour with the Gouda, walnuts and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water; add the butter and stir until a dough is formed.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes; divide into thirds. Roll each piece of dough into a 12-inch log about 1 1/2 inches thick. Arrange the logs on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. Loosely cover with lightly moistened paper towels and plastic wrap. Let stand for about 45 minutes, until risen.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the plastic wrap and paper towels and bake the logs for about 35 minutes, until they are golden and puffed and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 205°. Let the logs cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 300° and position 2 racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Transfer the logs to a work surface. Using a serrated knife, slice the logs crosswise 1/3 inch thick. Arrange the slices cut side up on 2 baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until golden and crisp; flip the biscotti halfway through and shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and let cool completely before serving.


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 Vine & Table #301