Savory Biscotti with Herbed Cheese Spread

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 tablespoons orange flavored liquor
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ cup toasted cumin seeds, crushed
3 tablespoons toasted caraway seeds, crushed
2 cups ground toasted walnuts

For the Herbed Cheese Spread:

3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups crumbled mild fresh goat cheese
1-2 cups ricotta
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and aquavit and beat well. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, cumin seeds, caraway seeds and walnuts and mix until blended. Form into 4 oval logs and place on 2 ungreased baking sheets.

Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for about 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Cut the logs diagonally into ½-inch slices and lay the slices flat on the baking sheets. Bake until dried, about 8-10 minutes longer. Let cool, then store in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze for longer storage.

Makes: 48 Biscotti

For the Herbed Cheese Spread:

In a small frying pan, heat the oil or melt the butter over moderate heat, add the garlic and cook until tender but not colored, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and add the goat cheese, 1 cup of the ricotta, the parsley, chives, thyme and pepper. Process to combine. Taste and add more ricotta if goat cheese flavor is too strong. Transfer to a small crock or serving dish. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Makes: About 5 cups


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