This is one of my favorite holiday cookies that I make every year at this time. The varieties of Biscotti are open to countless interpretations but since I always have almonds in my freezer I can put this recipe together without buying special ingredients. Of course this recipe can be tweaked to substitute pistachios, or hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and adding other components of dried fruits like cranberries, apricots, figs, lemon or orange zest or whatever totes your goat.
Biscotti is an Italian cookie that is twice baked. The initial baking is done when the raw dough is shaped into a long log (above) and then baked for 30 minutes. When it has cooled it is sliced into 1/2″-1″ pieces and put into a LOW Temperature oven to finish off by drying. If your oven has a bread proof setting for 100′ F then that would be fine, put them in the oven for a couple of hours and check to make sure the cookie isn’t browning, just drying out.
The safest way is if either you had your oven on from previous cooking or baking and you’ve just turned the oven off then you can put the sliced biscotti in and leave them overnight as the oven cools down. Or turn your oven on to 350′ F for 30 minutes then turn it off and put the biscotti in and leave until cooled.
What you’re wanting is a very warm oven that isn’t going to BAKE the cookies but DRY them out. This is a crispy cookie, meant for dunking after all.
After I’ve cut them, I don’t lay them down on the baking tray but keep them upright to ensure even drying.
When they are dry and ready there are options to leave them plain or dip in chocolate. I like to dip. Then there is something for everybody. Meaning Bob.
Do this by putting on a pot of water to heat and set a large stainless bowl over it with a couple of cups of chocolate chips in it and allow to melt. I add in about a tablespoon of vegetable shortening like Crisco to the chocolate to give it some shine and loosen the chocolate a bit. It’s hard to explain, but if you try it you’ll see what I mean.
This is how I set up my dipping station, working from right to left. Laying the dipped biscotti out on a wire rack until the chocolate is set, or if you have the space put them with the wire rack in your refrigerator. Afterwards I pack them in to a Tupperware container between layers of parchment paper or wax paper and store in the freezer until needed.
These are a lovely cookie, and a good staple to have in your baking repertoire. They are perfect for boxing up and sending as a gift and they store in the freezer for up to 2 months in a sealed container, perfect for impromptu gatherings ~
1 cup Butter
2 cup Sugar
4 Eggs (plus 1 extra egg white for brushing on)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
4 cup Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 cup Sliced almonds (plus extra for sprinkling)
1 cup Whole almonds, coarsely chopped
Cream Butter and sugar together in mixer with paddle attachment
Add eggs and vanilla, mix until eggs well blended
In a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients then add to butter, sugar, egg mixture. Blend together
Add the almonds, blend just to combine.
Shape into logs 3″ in diameter – It will be a little sticky, use some flour on your hands and counter surface.**
Brush with egg white and sprinkle with extra sliced almonds.
Bake 30 minutes at 350′ F
When cooled slice into 1″ slices and arrange on baking sheet and return to a warm OFF oven to allow to dry.
When cooled and dry they are ready for a dip in the chocolate pool!
** When shaping the logs I scrap the dough out onto a floured counter and divide into 3 or 4 smaller amounts, and working quickly with floured hands roll it out into a log and place onto the baking sheet. You can pat them into shape again once they are on the sheet.