Banana Nut Biscotti

I was skeptical about these at first, and my fears were somewhat well founded. Don’t get me wrong; I typically love banana-nut combos in baked goods. The problem is that bananas not only add sweetness and flavor but also moisture to such treats. Muffins, quick breads and cakes should be moist; biscotti shouldn’t.

Of course, the best way to see how these would turn out was to whip up a batch. I applied two of my usual changes, adding whole grains and cutting back on the sugar. I didn’t need to reduce the oil because there was just one tablespoon in the whole batch anyway.

So, what happened? For something that doesn’t feature chocolate, which I was tempted to add but didn’t for the sake of those who have given it up during Lent, these are tasty. Out of the oven, they are crunchy, flavorful and good with or without dunking. As for the moisture, it seemed like a non-issue.

Until the next morning…

When sealed in an airtight container, most biscotti will stay fresh and crunchy for at least a week, if not two. These still tasted great on day two, but their texture had changed overnight. They softened slightly and became a bit chewy, similar to some I’ve gotten at a local bakery. For those who don’t like the gnawing or dunking sometimes required to eat my typical biscotti, this transformation might be considered an improvement. (Personally, I prefer them to be more akin to hardtack.)

Overall, I would count these a success because they fit the “nutritious and delicious” requirement for this site. Because of the whole grains, banana, walnuts and not-too-high sugar content—as well as the omitted chocolate—I even offered them to our children as part of breakfast.

Banana Nut Biscotti

I haven’t tried these with chocolate yet, but I suspect that they would be excellent with 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips instead of the walnuts.

Makes about 18 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup crushed walnuts

1 well-ripened medium banana, mashed
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F, and cover a baking sheet with cooking spray or a Silpat mat.

Whisk together flour(s), baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir in walnuts.

Combine banana, brown sugar, egg, oil and extract in a mixing bowl and blend thoroughly.

Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and blend until combined.

Turn dough out on Silpat mat or on a work surface dusted with flour.

Using wet (for Silpat only) or lightly floured hands, shape into a flattened log about 12 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide.

Bake on prepared pan for 25 minutes, until firm and lightly golden.

Remove log from baking sheet to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325° F.

Cut log diagonally into 1/2-inch slices and place upright on the mat or pan.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Transfer biscotti to racks to cool.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

© Liesl K. Bohan  |

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This blog is for sharing home-tested recipes with more whole grains, less fat and fewer calories than similar recipes. If you see something you like, or if you'd like to see more, let me know! - Liesl

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