BiscottiPublished on 21 Nov 2014
I’m not anyone’s Nonna but I can still make good biscotti, which is something I enjoy with a nice espresso.
If you don’t know what biscotti is, it’s a sweet, Italian twice-baked cookie/biscuit (“biscotti” literally means twice cooked, so does “biscuit” for that matter) typically made with a strong spice, like cinnamon or anise, and with a nut/seed, typically almonds, in it.
There are a bunch of variations of biscotti, with different flavour combinations –like chocolate– but I don’t like things to be too sweet so I keep it simple with a few flavours.
|1 cup||almonds||whole or coarsely chopped almonds and toasted*, if you like.|
|1 teaspoon||ground anise||sometimes called “aniseed”|
|1 teaspoon||lemon zest||about as much as you would get from zesting half a lemon|
|1 teaspoon||vanilla extract||–|
|2 teaspoons||baking powder||–|
|2 3/4 cups||all-purpose flour||You can cut this with 1/4 of almond flour for more almondiness.|
To toast almonds (or any nut) simply heat a dry pan to quite hot & toss the nuts in. While shaking to prevent burning, cook until they start to brown and become fragrant.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder
- Combine the sugar with the ground anise and lemon zest, then mash it into the butter –here, I deviate from tradition in the method.
- Add the eggs and mix those in.
- Add the egg-butter-sugar mixture to the dry ingredients and bring together into a smooth dough.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and divide in half.
- Moisten your hands with water and form each half into a long thin log –approx. 8x32x4 centimeters.
- Place each log apart from each other on a clean baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes or so.
- Cut** each log into 2 cm slices and arrange them on the baking sheet with the cut side face down/up.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove finished biscotti from the oven and let cool on a wire rack before eating.
*to get that angled cut like seen here, slice the biscotti log on a ~45 degree angle, what is typically called “slicing on a bias”.