Biscotti Great For Dipping

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - July 06, 2011
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Ann Kadowaki with an herb bouquet. Photo courtesy Ann Kadowaki

Ann Kadowaki takes a flower from the array she and her haku lei “sisters” picked, holding it in place as she wraps it in the growing lei in her hand. Just as she selects each flower to weave into each haku lei, Ann brings artistry and an eye for detail to everything she does, from the quilt she made and donated for the Punahou Carnival auction, to her flower arrangements that graced every table at last year’s Lyon in Summer fundraiser.

This year, she is bringing her artist’s eye to Lyon Arboretum July 16 as she chairs the Lyon in Summer fundraiser. Inspired by the spirit of Hale Halawai’i, the traditional Hawaiian hale under construction at the arboretum, Ann selected Ulu a wehi (to grow and flourish) for this year’s theme. The feeling of Hawaii will run throughout all components of the evening, from the local items available to bid at the silent auction, to the Hawaiian nouvelle cuisine being served.

Ann, the mother of two, grew up in beautiful Pauoa Valley, surrounded by the island’s lush and beautiful flora. She worked her way through the University of Hawaii at her uncle’s business, Watanabe Floral.

She wants to introduce people to the arboretum, welcoming those in Hawaii who have never been there to discover what she refers to as a “happy, pleasant, warm place, filled with aloha.” For reservations or more information on the 2011 Lyon in Summer, please contact Lyon Arboretum Association at lyonarboretumassn.com or call 988-0464.

Ann brings her own special biscotti to serve at committee meetings, and would like to share the recipe with MidWeek readers.


Biscotti means twice baked and the second baking process draws out moisture, which gives them a longer shelf life. Baked in Italy for centuries, sailors ate them on long sea voyages as they kept well.

They are delicious dipped in wine, hot chocolate or coffee.

BISCOTTI WITH CHERRIES, CHOCOLATE AND ALMONDS

Adapted from a recipe by Ellie Krieger

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 2 large eggs (may use egg substitute)
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
* 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
* 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
* 1/2 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, oil and extracts until well-combined. In batches, add the dry mixture until it forms a dough. Stir in the cherries, almonds and chocolate. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and separate into two pieces. Knead each piece briefly and form into 3-inch-wide logs. Transfer the logs to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut 1/2-inch slices. Arrange on parchmentlined baking sheets cutside down and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the biscotti over and bake until golden, about 10 more minutes. Cool on wire racks.

 

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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