Banana, Walnut and Almond Biscotti Bars

It’s a lazy Labour Day. Ironic but true. Thank God it’s a public holiday! And there’s nothing like enjoying the foods of your own labour (nope, no pun intended there). Well, the only type of labour I’d be happy to engage myself in on a day like this is some work in the kitchen. I practically get lost in a world of my own in there. It’s strangely terribly therapeutic :’)

So last night I noticed an overripe banana sitting lonely in the fridge. It was the perfect baking banana jumping right out at me. It was time to do something about it. I stumbled upon this banana-pecan biscotti recipe on WordPress that sounded just lovely.

I’ve always been tempted to buy a biscotti or two when I’m at Starbucks. They look so… Tempting. But unfortunately I can’t bear to always part with my money that way. Sometimes you’ve to be realistic and know you can’t always “live to eat”; I have to resort to “eating to live”.

With these healthy and superbly yummy biscotti bars so simple to make, it’s time to say hi to getting more bang for your buck.

After a late Macs breakfast this morning, I got to work in the kitchen.

Just an hour later, the biscotti bars were ready, just in time for a little tea break. The rain, a cuppa and some biscotti bars (crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside)… Ah, what an afternoon.

Banana, Walnut and Almond Biscotti Bars

Yield: approximately 20 bars

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown packed sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 whole ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions

1. Line a baking pan (I used a 11 x 7.5 inch one) with a baking sheet. Spread the walnuts and almonds on the baking sheet and place the baking pan in the oven. Bake for 3 minutes at 180 degrees C (approximately 350 degrees F). Mix the nuts around and bake for another 3 minutes.

Walnuts and almonds.

2. Meanwhile, sieve the self-raising flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon powder. Leave this flour mixture aside.

3. Once the nuts are toasted, remove from the oven and transfer to a chopping board. Chop them relatively finely. Add the chopped nuts into the flour mixture.

Chopped walnuts and almonds.

4. In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the mashed banana, olive oil, vanilla extract and beaten egg. These will be your “wet” ingredients.

5. Add the “wet” ingredients into the flour mixture and mix using a fork, with a folding in motion going in only one direction. Initially there will appear to be too much flour, but you will arrive at a batter texture as you keep going.

6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, mould the dough into two 8-inch long rolls of half-inch thickness.

Two 8-inch long and half-inch thick rolls.

7. Grease the baking pan and place your two rolls into the baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes at 170 degrees C (approximately 338 degrees F), or until the rolls have risen and are slightly browned on top.

Ready for the oven.

8. After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and cut each roll diagonally into approximately 10 bars, depending on your desired thickness for each biscotti bar. Lie the bars on their sides and bake for another 8 minutes each side.

Cut into diagonal bars.

9. Once perfectly browned, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a standing rack. Serve with hot coffee or chocolate when cooled to room temperature! 🙂

Perfectly browned biscotti bars.

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