How to Make Italian Biscotti

BISCOTTI BONGIORNO!  THE GREAT DUNKING COOKIE

Biscotti …the very words speak of gondolas, rolling Tuscan hillsides, an elegant glass of Vin Santo, a waft of freshly made espresso.

It isn’t Google; It’s the Italian Baker

Biscotti are the cookies of Italy, the stuff of dreams, the perfect sweet everything.

And they’re very important at Dancing Tomatoes.  Because I know the value of a great snack…it came to me early on as children, then employees arrived and I understood that the solution to crankiness was often just a snack away.  Not the “nibble all daylong” snack, but the yummy, satisfying, nutritious – enough snack.  This sort of snack makes people happy; and happy people are the best and most productive kind.   I know, everyone thinks Google invented the idea of the delicious, nutritious snack, but I think the Italians were on it long ago. And after spending a lot of time in Italy, I have been too.

The Biscotti as Dessert

But the biscotti, it must be said, isn’t just a snack. Consider it as a dessert too, along with a glass of Vin Santo (the wonderfully sweet/rich wine of Tuscany), a bowl of ice cream, a cup of espresso.  This version of biscotti can fit all these roles and situations; it’s one of the best in my biscotti repertoire (you’ll find others in ITALIAN FARMHOUSE).  Simple, richly yet delicately flavored, these will disappear.  And that’s the unfortunate part of biscotti – the recipes yield too few.  But that’s also the beauty of biscotti – there aren’t ever enough to make you tired of them, or to cause you to eat them without true appreciation…

They do keep a long time in an air-tight container, in case you’re seized with the notion to double the recipe, or you decide not to share with anyone else!

 

THREE NUT BISCOTTI - BISCOTTI AUX FRUIT SECS

This recipe is based on a traditional Tuscan biscotti called cantucci, where almonds are used. I love the deep, golden flavor of the combination of nuts, which are lightly toasted before being added to the dough
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: almonds, flour, butter, salt, hazelnuts, vanilla, walnuts
Servings: 48 biscotti

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup;230 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons;60 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup;100 g vanilla sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup;50 g almonds, skinned, toasted, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup;50 g hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup;50 g walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt onto a piece of waxed or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl or the work bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until pale yellow and light. Gradually add the sugar and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the egg yolk, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in the nuts.
  • Divide the dough into quarters and shape each quarter into a 6-inch (15 cm) log about 1 ½ inches (3.75 cm) thick. Place the logs about 1 ½ inches (3.75 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake the logs in the center of the oven until they are puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Leave the oven on.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into ½-inch (1.3 cm) thick slices. Place the slices, cut side down, on the parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until they are golden on one side, about 15 minutes. Turn the slices and bake until they are golden on the other side, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

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