Friday, September 14, 2012

Biscotti di Polenta

Polenta and Chia Seeds Biscotti

A couple of weeks ago, when I picked up our teenager after his soccer practice (football for the rest of the world outside the US), we had this conversations:
Me: How was your day at school? What did you learn?
Teenager: OK. Things. 
Me: What did you do today at your soccer practice? Did you play?
Teenager: No, we just did some drills. I am tiered, we had to run 45 circles (4.5 miles) because ten students didn't bring their white tea shirts...
Me: And everyone had to run?!...
Teenager: Yes, but they definitely will bring it next time,- said he grinding his teeth, then asked: did you go to the gym today?
Me: Yes, you know I go in the mornings. Why?
Teenager: Can you drive me to the gym?
Me, puzzled, and after the pause: "O...K... but didn't you just said that you are tiered after running 4,5 miles?
Teenager: Yes, but we don't have to go right now, we can go in an hour.
Me: Well, let me know in an hour and we'll go if you still want it,- thinking he would fell asleep, probably, first thing after he gets home.
And he did, but not for the long: one hour later we were on our way to the gym. I already had my workout for the day, yet another mile or two wouldn't hurt, was my though, and teenager is tiered and we'll be out off the gym in 20-30 minutes. 
Little did I know... I run an extra 5 miles that day (in addition to my morning 3 miles run and a workout) while teenager was pumping iron to build his muscles, and... ready for this? I wasn't... run another 3 miles! 
I am impressed by their energy level and endurance! Was I the same when I was sixteen? :)
Since then, we go to the gym almost every day, sometimes I make even two trips because I really love my morning yoga class. 
So, how does this all relates to the biscotti, you would say? Here is how: we burn more calories, which means we need more calories... which means we can have something sweet more often without contributing to a waist line... Which means I have no more excuses not to bake... :)

I love my biscotti with a milk...
***

Polenta and Chia Seeds Biscotti

Recipe is adapted from the book 'Dolce Italiano' by Gina DePalma

3 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup instant or fine polenta
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Zest of a whole lemon
juice of half of the lemon (about one tablespoon)

1. Combine together the flour, polenta, baking powder, chia seeds,  and salt and put aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar (in the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) until light and fluffy. 
3. Scrape the bowl, and start adding the eggs and egg yolks, one at the time, mixing well after each addition.
4. Add vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest, and mix well.
5. Add  dry ingredients and mix on low speed until everything is incorporated, then add sunflower seed and give it a final mix.
6. Cower the bowl with the dough with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
7. Preheat the oven to 325 F (165 C) and prepare two baking sheets: line it with parchment or oil it.
8. Flour your hands and place the dough on a well floured surface. Divide the dough in  3-4 equal portions and form long 10-12 inches logs and about 1 1/2 inch in diameter, and place them in the baking sheets, leaving a space between logs of 3 inches.
9. Glaze the logs with the egg white, and sprinkle with sugar (optional).
10. Bake logs for about 30 minutes or until it's golden brown.
11. Take the logs from the oven, let them cool. When it's cool enough to handle, slice biscotti with serrated knife on angle into 1/2 inch slices (or as thick as you like).
12. Place the slices in one layer on the baking sheet again, and bake in reduced to 200 F (95 C) for 30-35 minutes. Adjust the time if you cut your slices thinner.
13. Cool it completely and enjoy for up to two weeks in an airtight container (never happened in my family: three days is max we have this biscotti around!)
***

An eye pleasing "bouquet"...

Do you have a baking story to share? 
I would love to hear it!


See you,
Marina

82 comments:

  1. What a cute conversation..Yikes I think you have loads of energy!
    I have never made biscotti w/ polenta..great idea!
    And the addition of chia seeds is genius too..I add them to my yogurt..not in baking yet:)
    We have the same water bottle:)

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    1. I am glad you liked it. I have other recipes with polenta: http://www.picnicatmarina.com/2012/07/citrus-polenta-cake.html
      and cookies here:
      http://www.picnicatmarina.com/2012/06/zaletti-polenta-cookies-from-veneto.html
      Check it out, I hope you like it too:)

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  2. I could not possibly resist to these ones. I am a polenta addict. They have turned out perfectly. Well done!

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    1. Alida, I am polenta addict too! Just love how light it is, and it adds unique texture to the baked goods. :)

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  3. I've never had biscotti with polenta and have to try it. It sounds great! Sons are the best!

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    1. Thanks Pam! Sons and daughters! I have one of each... :)

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  4. I think the addition of polenta, seeds and lemon to biscotti sounds delicious. I like the reasoning behind why you have to bake and eat biscotti. Now I have to figure out a good reason for me to be able to eat them...I only walk 30 minutes a day.

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    1. Lol, Karen! Thank you! I actually don't have to eat them, not a lot at least. Baking is a very new thing to me, I started baking with this blog actually, and I enjoy the process. :)

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  5. I dont remember when I had a cookie, but I lost 12 pounds in two month-)) I miss my biscotti with coffee, yours looks relish and healthy! Thank you for sharing interesting story, Marina.

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    1. You can make your biscotti out of polenta only, it would be crumbly and light. :)

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  6. Ohhh Teenagers! I feel your pain and love and the same time. I have heard we will live though these teenage years but sometimes I do wonder! The polenta biscotti's look like the perfect snack to coop from all of that activity. Chia seeds and sunflower seeds a refreshing change from the usual pistatios. Take Care, BAM

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    1. Thank you BAM. I don't know if it gets easier, I have daughter 23 years old. We have our moments with her too.. :) And yes, I do love my kids, as any other mother...

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  7. I like your conversation :)
    Your polenta biscotti looks yummy. Eaten with milk ... oh yes!

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    1. Hi Sheila! Kids do make us laugh, it's a bliss! :)

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  8. Polenta in biscotti? Now that is simple genius my friend, thank you :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Thank you Uru. Did you see my other baked good with polenta? :)

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  9. Thankyou! They look divine and I have a big bag of polenta in the pantry and the kids have decided they don't like it warm so biscotti it shall be.

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    1. I have another recipe with polenta, that kids absolutely love. I will make it some day for the blog. Thank you Liz for your comment... :)

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  10. I have never had biscotti made with polenta. What an awesome idea!

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    1. Thanks! They taste really good, and addition of polenta makes them lighter... :)

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  11. I don't think I ever made Biscotties and polenta biscotties sounds great. A great treat for afternoon tea. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Holly! Funny you have mentioned it, I am having a cup of tea with some biscotti as I respond to your comment... :)

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  12. Good on you Marina! That's great that you go to the gym and that you've got a gym partner in the teenager too! :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine! Yes, he is one of the partner Indeed! Fun one too :)

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  13. Hi hi hi, Marina I have exactly the same. When spring started I decided to leave my car in a garage and go to work by bike and not only to save some money but to be guilty free when baking and eating lots of sinful stuff ;) And I am soo into those biscotti. yum yum. I put them on my to do list. Unbelievable but I haven't still had time to bake your savoury muffins that you shared with us a couple of weeks ago and which I planned to bake. Still no time for serious baking but I think about them every single week:-)

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    1. Hi Joanna! Those muffins a very quick to mix, it takes about 2-3 minutes and then bake! I make it when I am in a hurry... :)
      Thanks for your comment!

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    2. You leave me no choice Marina but to start baking ;-)

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    3. I started baking not that long ago either... :) And I still can turn a sweet recipe into savory meal, where I feel more comfortable...

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  14. CHE ASPETTO DELIZIOSO E MOLTO PARTICOLARi COPIOOO BUON FINE SETTIMANA

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  15. Sorry no story to share, my husband is the chef in our household. It was great to see the lovely china again.

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    1. Thanks Lindy! I wish sometimes my husband would take over the kitchen for a short time... Sigh... :)

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  16. Oh, to have the energy of a teenager! Or even you!!!! Love your savory biscotti :)

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    1. Thanks Lizzy! Oh, my energy is higher than a year ago but far from the teenager! :) Thank you for your kind comment.

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  17. Marina, I loved reading your cute post about your teenager, and love, love the polenta biscotti! Your photos are supberb, as well!

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    1. Thanks Elisabeth! Yes, kids do make us smile, they are the precious gifts of our lives... :)

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  18. i am just getting into biscotti lately---yours looks amazing :)

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    1. Believe it, those are my very first biscotti. :) I am getting into baking too...

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  19. Wow Marina,
    This looks wonderful!

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  20. wow that is impressive!! I bet you were tired! :) Beautiful picture!

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    1. Thank you Jane! Running actually energizes me. When I don't have energy, I 'drag' myself to the gym to fuel up with it... :)

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  21. Polenta biscotti, that sounds interesting, must give a try.

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    1. Hi Norma, polenta biscotti are lighter and not as heavy as made of plain flour. I love it! :)

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  22. Absolutely stunning polenta biscotti. I recently had polenta citrus cookies for the first time and now fantasize about them, I bet I would love these just as much!

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    1. Thank you Shulie! :)
      I made some citrus cookies too, check it here: http://www.picnicatmarina.com/2012/06/zaletti-polenta-cookies-from-veneto.html

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  23. Omg I can really relate to this story... Firstly the single syllable replies, and then when they do speak it means that we exert more energy. I love your blog, do pleased to have found you :)

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    1. Thank you, Gourmetgetaways! I appreciate your comment, and glad you liked it here. Please, do come back, lets be blogging friends... :)

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  24. That story is so cool, and the biscotti looks delicious! Great post!

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    1. Thanks Dude! Teenagers are fun crowd to be around (assuming they don't get in any troubles) :)

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  25. Seems teenagers have a never ending supply of energy! Fabulous biscotti!
    :-) Mandy

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    1. And where do they get it? We eat the same food, but have a way different level of energy! :) Thanks for your comment, Mandy!

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  26. What a cute story! And that biscotti looks unreal!

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    1. Thank you Jess! Teenagers are fun... :)

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  27. Your photos are amazing, Marina. The biscotti sounds delicious and is very tempting. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Thank you Mary! I appreciate your compliment on a photo. :)

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  28. We were all that way at 16 - amazing, isn't it? You do a serious workout - I'm impressed. Mrs K R and I walk quite a bit, but usually only about 4 miles a day (plus another 30 to 60 minutes on an exercise bike). We don't pump iron (much) but we do pushups -fiendish things, but as one ages it's really necessary to retain some degree of fitness. Anyway, nice recipe. I love the flavor of polenta, but have never combined it with chia seeds - sounds like a terrific idea. Fun post - thank you.

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    1. That's impressive too, John! Yes, your are absolutely right: we need to keep moving as we were "designed". :)
      Polenta is lighter, and I like what it adds to biscotti. Thanks for your comment! :)

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  29. MMmmmm... I love polenta, and using it for a biscotti means it will last. What a marvelous idea for a breakfast item, sweet or savory. Good for you for doing the double work out.... a great outing for both of you.

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    1. Thank you Emily! Welcome to my blog! :)

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    1. Thanks! It was gone too soon though... :)

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  31. I can't remember when I was 16 :)

    I've never had polenta biscotti but these look wonderful.

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    1. Neither can I, Maureen! I sometimes ask my mother how was I at 16? She tells me to look at my kids...:)

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  32. I really love polenta biscotti, it's so crisp!!!!! I'm bookmarking your recipe! Have a nice week!

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    1. Thank you Kim! I am glad you liked this recipe... :)

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  33. Polenta in biscotti sounds really intruiging, it looks lovely.

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    1. Thanks Caroline! I love polenta and when I see recipe with it, it's a must try. Sometimes I make something myself, but that's with savory dishes where I can create fearlessly...:)

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  34. I am amazed too byt their stamina and strength Marina! My son is almost 10 and let me tell you he is like a tornado. He never stops. These biscotti would be perfect for him and for me, cause I need energy too, so as to run behind him!

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    1. Lol, Katerina! I know the feeling! Although I don't know if we can ever compete with our kids on energy level... :)

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  35. Your story warmed my heart. I love teenagers. They just inspire us to get up and get going. I have two adult kids, only one at home now. But since her achilles injury I find we're way more sedentary than I like. I'm so not used to it. I need to get moving so I can enjoy treats like this every day. xx

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    1. Thanks Kim for your comment. Ouch, I hope your daughter is better soon. And horse riding again... :)

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  36. Such a fun age huh? I loved your story. And these biscotti! Thank you for sharing, my friend, and for making my day a bit more happy and delicious. I hope you are having a wonderful week!

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    1. Thank you Monet! I am glad this post put a smile on your heart... :)

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  37. That recipe sounds wonderful! It's just what I always loved to eat when I ate more carbs. I never had to worry about carbs when I was younger...I've always been really active, too. My most interesting story would be....I had 4 teen aged sons at the same time. It's not wonder I was so thin back them! lol And I baked most of our bread. Enjoy your day....and your work outs!

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    1. Thank you Diane! Oh dear, you had your hands full. I am sure you had to cook a lot, and constantly. Teenagers have an appetite of an elephant! :)

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  38. Oh Marina, you are funny! My kids are still 6 and 4, but I am preparing for teenage days by listening to other moms who have them. :) Boy I can't imagine how much I have to cook for them and all the activities I have to take to... As soon as my 4 year old goes full schedule at school, I'm going to join the gym and burn blogging fat! I like the idea of working out and baking more. I must do both in the next year or two! Your biscotti look delicious. So jealous you can eat them without hesitation. Haha.

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    1. Nami, I love the term: blogging fat! :) Thanks for the compliment on the biscotti. Well, I do have to limit myself even with all workouts: as we age the metabolism slows down, and I have to remind myself this fact too. :)

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  39. lol! He has way more energy than I did at that age. Still - good for him! So much better than spending the time curled up in front of the TV or something :) Fabulous looking biscotti too - you know, biscotti is something I STILL haven't made. Really need to give it a go!

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    1. Thanks Charles! Trust me, he still has time to "curl up in front of TV", actually his video games... Wasn't he just a little boy, building a pirate ship off the Lego blocks?! Time flies, and now he is talking about girls, cars, etc... :)

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  40. Dear Marina, These biscotti sound wonderful. I love the idea of using polenta...what a great idea. Blessings my dear, your friend, Catherine xo

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    1. Thank you Catherine! I love the polenta, and working with it is such a pleasure. Then eating it ... :)

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Your warm comments put a smile on my heart.