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Lauren’s Biscotti: Not your ordinary cookie

Posted By Karen Young On August 31, 2009 @ 12:02 am In Cuisine,Eat,Food,My Daily Find,spotlight,Sweets,Sweets | 6 Comments

karenyoung110BY KAREN YOUNG

When a friend told me I had to try a special biscotti made by a woman named Lauren,  I said “sure” — not getting too excited or thinking much about it. I mean, what’s the big deal about biscotti?  Every biscotti I’ve ever had was rather dry, not particularly memorable,  and was only saved by a dip into a strong cup of expresso.

A plate of Cranberry Almond Biscotti.

A plate of Cranberry Almond Biscotti.

A few days later, my friend hand-delivered Lauren’s Biscotti in a white bakers bag filled with a dozen assorted biscotti in seven flavors. When my kids came home that day, I showed them the bag, which they eagerly grabbed and then pulled out a few biscotti.  We each took a bite from our chosen biscotti.  Much to my surprise, there was no hard bite, but rather, it was soft and chewy with a burst of sweet, rich  flavor.

“You have to try this one,”  said my daughter.   “And this one,” said my son. We were handing them off like we were taste testing a box of See’s Chocolates — one bite at a time.

“This one tastes like a Red Velvet cupcake in a cookie!” exclaimed my daughter.

Sure enough, it was Red Velvet made with real cocoa and topped with white chocolate frosting.  I had  Biscottchi, which was a scrumptious blend of butterscotch, while my son devoured the  Chocolate Cinnamon Chip.

The other flavors in the bag were Hawaiian Delight (a truly tropical wonder made with coconut, macadamia nuts, white chocolate, pineapple and topped with toasted coconut),  Peanut Butter Cup (who loves Reeses?), White Cranberry (a rich blend of cranberries and white chocolate) and Cranberry Almond  (the original Lauren’s Biscotti flavor that started it all).

Lauren Leitner's motto is that her biscotti are "made with love.

Lauren Leitner's motto is that her biscotti are "made with love."

Lauren Leitner, a native of Tarzana, California,  is  the owner of Lauren’s Biscotti.  Leitner grew up in a cooking and baking household. In fact, her brother, Brian Leitner, is a chef and the owner of  the acclaimed Netties Crab Shack on Union Street in  San Francisco.

Leitner says that she began making biscotti ten years ago just for fun during the holiday season.   At the time she was working at a local coffeehouse and was asked to make them for the store.

“People went crazy for them and started ordering. I have a sweet tooth so I’m always thinking of different flavors,” says Leitner. “I get inspired by different tastes and then put my own spin on it by mixing and matching ingredients.” She  adds that  she has dozens more recipe ideas she is playing with for future biscotti flavors.

Leitner’s hobby has since turned into a full-fledged business. She recently left her position as a high school math teacher with the LA Unified School District to pursue biscotti baking full time.

Lauren’s Biscotti are available online.  “I mail orders out the day I make them. They stay fresh for six to eight weeks unrefrigerated in an airtight container, but they last for six months or more in the freezer,”  says Leitner.

Lauren's Biscotti comes in beautifully wrapped packaging for unique gift giving.

Lauren's Biscotti comes in beautifully wrapped baskets for unique gift giving.

Shannon Barnes, the office administrator at KPL Mortgage in Sherman Oaks, says she started ordering from Lauren’s Biscotti after her office had received a gift basket from one of their professional partners.  “Everyone in our office loved the biscotti so much that we thought it would be a nice change [to send Lauren's Biscotti] from the usual cookie and muffin baskets.”

Leslie Buttigieg, a repeat customer from Los Angeles, echoes Barnes’ sentiments.  “I think Lauren’s baskets are the perfect gift.  The packaging is beautiful and the biscotti are always fresh and delicious. It’s a unique treat and not your typical “cookie” gift basket.”  Buttigieg says she gives out bags during the holidays and adds,  “Many people I have given bags to are now ordering for themselves and as gifts for others.”

Special for the holidays this year, Leitner will be offering white ginger biscotti and gingerbread biscotti with white chocolate.

Thank goodness for my friend’s suggestion. Lauren’s Biscotti is indeed a find — the perfect treat any time of year and for any occasion — with or without an expresso.

Lauren’s Biscotti comes in beautifully wrapped gift baskets ranging from $35 – $65. Individual orders are available in three sizes: The Nibbler ($5)— a perfect snack with three biscotti; Half Dozen — a bag of six biscotti $9;  Cheaper by the Dozen —a bag twelve 12 biscotti $15. www.laurensbiscotti.com

SPECIAL DISCOUNT for MDF readers: Enter “mydailyfind” in the coupon code for 10 % off any order. www.laurensbiscotti.com

Karen Young is the Publisher/Editor of MY DAILY FIND

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