Not just a sweet desert cookie, these biscuits combine the earthy flavour of Asiago cheese with the freshness of fennel seeds and tartness of black pepper.

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes resting time II Cook time: 45 minutes II Makes about 42 biscotti

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal, fine or medium ground
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Arrange pine nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in center of preheated oven, stirring once or twice, until lightly toasted, 5 to 8 minutes. Cool; chop coarsely.
  3. In a bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, pepper, mustard, baking soda and cayenne pepper (if using). Add Asiago, pine nuts and fennel seeds.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk; add to the flour mixture, stirring until dough starts to cling together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface; gently knead until a smooth, somewhat sticky, dough forms. Shape into a ball; cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into thirds. Shape each third into a 7-inch-long log. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet; flatten slightly.
  6. Bake in center of preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool on cooked sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool for 25 minutes.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F. Using a serrated knife, slice logs diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices. Return slices to cookie sheet; bake for 6 minutes. Turn slices over, bake until crisp and dry, about 6 minutes (do not overbake). Cool on wire racks.

Nutritional analysis per biscotti: Calories 45; Protein 1g; Carbohydrate 6g; Fat, total 1.5g; Fat, saturated 0g; Fat, trans 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Fibre 0g; Sodium 30mg.

Cooking tip: If you do not have buttermilk, simply combine 1/2 cup low-fat milk and 1/2 tsp white vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes before using.

– from the book, “Mindfull, Over 100 Delicious Recipes for Better Brain Health”, by Carol Greenwood, PhD, Daphna Rabinovitch, and Joanna Gryfe.

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