Parmesan Biscotti: The antidote for your candy overdose

Champagne and Biscotti

Two old friends hanging out — Champagne and Biscotti

When I first attempted making savory biscotti about a month ago, I used cheddar cheese and cayenne pepper. The end result was so delicious that I wanted to try the initial recipe that had piqued my curiosity. The recipe, from a 2006 issue of Gourmet magazine, is for Parmesan and Black Pepper Biscotti and has stellar reviews online.

Even Deb from Smitten Kitchen gave it a try years ago in mid-December and called the biscotti the perfect antidote to sugary holiday treats. (And yes, I am stealing her name for it because it’s totally true.)

So if you’re like me and the thought of one more chocolate truffle makes you cringe, consider whipping up a batch of these. They are not at all sweet — but they are rich with a hefty kick of spice and full of cheesy flavor. While you could eat them with coffee, these biscotti are better suited for Champagne and lush red wines. They’d be perfect as an hors d’oeuvre at a fancy soiree or paired with an aperitif at a dinner party.

Or, let’s be honest, eaten while standing alone in your kitchen at midnight. No shame here, people.

The dough is fairly similar to the first savory recipe I tried. There’s the usual suspects (flour, butter, eggs) plus a few additions — lots of peppercorn and grated Parmesan. I stayed true to the recipe, managing not to swap out a single ingredient, a somewhat shocking feat where I am concerned.

I even measured the cheese using a scale and cracked the peppercorn by hand (because I am crazy). You know, I once worked in a restaurant where the pantry cooks, which included me for a time, had to crack all of the pepper for the Caesar salads using a mortar and pestle. Caesar salads are, of course, a popular dish and grinding all of that pepper was hell on Earth, even if you’re getting paid for it.

There was also the constant fear that one whole peppercorn would remain uncracked, in which case the chef, a server or (worst case scenario) a customer’s tooth would find it. Thankfully I never witnessed option #3 happen because the consequences would have been dire. I heard enough cooks get ripped a new one in the dry storage room for lesser crimes to know that I wanted no part of that!

So even though I risked a little PTSD to hand crack the pepper for these, I did so because, well, I was too lazy to get out the spice grinder. Which makes no sense because in the long run that would have really simplified things…

Anyways, wow! Sorry that was a serious tangent…um, look at how pretty the pre-cooked logs look…

Parmesan and Black Pepper Biscotti

I love the pepper flecks in the dough…

Before they go into the oven, brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese and a bit more pepper.

Parmesan and Black Pepper BiscottiThe dough formed two pretty impressive logs that came out of the oven smelling like delicious baguettes. It was hard not to just eat them like this.

Parmesan and Black Pepper BiscottiParmesan and Black Pepper BiscottiBut I am dedicated to my craft…*ahem*…and so they were properly sliced up and popped back in the oven for their second baking.

Parmesan and Black Pepper BiscottiUntil finally they were crispy and ready for eating. The sparkle you see is a little added fleur de sel.

Parmesan and Black Pepper BiscottiParmesan and Black Pepper BiscottiSo honest thoughts on these? The recipe says they hold well for two weeks, I’d say they are incomprehensibly better the day you make them. Even kept in an air-tight container, these got a weird crumbly texture after day three. The flavor was still great though and I continued to eat them sprinkled in soups or on salads for quite a while passed their shelf life. They were addictively spicy and thus very hard to say no to.

And it would be absolutely silly to resist these. Trust me. It’d be so much easier (and tastier) to pop open some bubbly, cut up a salami and get to snacking. What’s stopping you?

Parmesan and Black Pepper Biscotti

This, my friends, is how to get over wanting to eat leftover chocolate hearts…

16 thoughts on “Parmesan Biscotti: The antidote for your candy overdose

  1. Those sound wonderful. And, yes, I’m sure if I made them I’d be standing alone in my kitchen at midnight eating one with the end of a glass of wine. But that wouldn’t be a bad thing, would it?

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