Perhaps it’s a result of my upbringing in cider mill country (if you’ve never eaten a cinnamon sugar cider mill donut while drinking fresh apple cider, you haven’t lived), or of my Grandma Bev’s much loved snickerdoodle recipe (I didn’t know she didn’t invent them until I went to middle school and wondered who in the hell had stolen my grandma’s recipe when I saw snickerdoodles in the lunch line), but I’m a real sucker for cinnamon sugar things. Churros, elephant ears, donuts, cookies, cinnamon toast, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, leftover pie dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and rolled up into perfect little swirls (without cinnamon also called, in some adorable Nebraskan circles, Sugar Pie). All delicious. Cinnamon sugar biscotti is like a grown up version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, in that it’s elegant, you can dunk it in coffee and no one judges you for eating it, but it pretty much tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
I think my personal baked goods provider (Linda) originally made me cinnamon sugar biscotti, but now I don’t live with her anymore and recently when I asked her to make me some she said make it yourself. So I did.
Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti, adapted from Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. When fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour, salt and baking powder until just combined.
On a parchment lined cookie sheet, arrange the dough in a kind of long, oval blob, like this:
Bake the blob for 40 minutes, until golden. It will expand a lot, like this:
Let the blob cool for about a half hour or so, move it to a cutting board, then cut it diagonally into strips with a serrated knife. Arrange the slices on the cookie sheet, cut side up, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for another 15 minutes, turn all the biscotti over so the opposite cut side is facing up, sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar and bake another 7-10 minutes. The idea is to let them get as dry and crunchy as possible without burning them. This will probably be easier for everyone not living in the drippiest, moistest region of these United States.
I store these in a container with a lid, but I just lay the lid on the container, I don’t close it up. That way, they’ll stay drier instead of moisten up in there.
You don’t have to make this biscotti cinnamon sugar flavor. Remove the cinnamon from the batter and you have biscotti base that you can add anything to! Here are some ideas: orange zest and almonds, then dip the biscotti in chocolate; cranberries and pecans, then dip the biscotti in chocolate; pistachios and chocolate chips, then dip the biscotti in chocolate; espresso powder and chocolate chips, then dip the biscotti in chocolate.