I have to say I have been impressed with the uniqueness and creativity involved in the recipes I have been given. Last year I made a Triple Ginger Cookie and this year I did a Biscotti Regina that was passed down to me from Chris at Mele Cotte. It is one of her favorites from the Sopranos Family Cookbook. Oh how I love a good chunky biscotti to dunk in my coffee! These turned out to be just the perfect fit for me.
(adapted from Sopranos Family Cookbook via Mele Cotte)
½ cup milk ( I used 1/2 and 1/2 since I was running low on milk and wanted to save some for tasting)
2 cups unhulled sesame seeds (not toasted)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I couldn't resist adding some whole grains)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar (I used turinado and found it worked perfectly)
3 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ pound (two sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened.
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 375◦ F. Place parchment paper on two baking sheets.
Pour the milk into a shallow bowl. Spread the sesame seeds on a piece of wax paper and set aside.In a large bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. On low speed, beat in the butter a little at a time.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, and orange zest. Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients until well blended.
Pinch off a piece of dough the size of a golf ball and shape into a log 2½ inches long and ¾ inch thick.Dip the log in the milk, then roll it in the sesame seeds. Place on a prepared baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough, placing the cookies 1 inch apart.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until well browned. Let cool on the baking sheets for ten minutes, and then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.