Friday, December 10, 2010

And then there was Biscotti. The End.

I've always loved Biscotti, which is an Italian cookie.  I have a confession to make; I used to buy the packaged "Nonni's Biscotti" because I thought these would be too hard to make.  Then I married into an Italian family.  And the matriarch of that Italian family is the most excellent cook.  She baked these biscotti by the dozens, and even though I've come close to the flavor and texture of her biscotti, they haven't quite gotten there.

If you are impatient and just want the recipe already, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Start out by mixing the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment on the mixer, then adding the eggs one at a time, mixing well between. 

 Add the flavorings; almond OR anise, and vanilla.

Measure the flour into a separate bowl.  Add the baking powder and stir with a whisk, then add a cup at a time into the mixer and incorporate into the butter/sugar/eggs. Add the walnuts.  I toasted them for a few minutes on a cookie sheet, then let them cool before adding to the dough.

Divide the dough by 1/2.  I divided by four because I doubled the recipe, which I have a tendency to do just about every time I make cookies.

Form those halves into long logs, and flatten them slightly onto the cookie sheet.  Make them fairly thin, since you can see that they puff up quite a bit.  Now do the first baking.  This will bake into a firm loaf, but make sure you don't over bake it, since they will still be toasted in the oven.

Putting them on parchment paper allows me to slide the baked loaves from the pan to the counter or cutting board to slice them.

Let them cool just a few minutes, until they are cool enough to handle,
and then slice with a serrated knife slightly on the diagonal. 

Lay the cookies on the side.  They will be really crammed in.  Sometimes I can't fit them all back on the sheet, so I have to eat all of the ends.  It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Toast for the second time, then try not to eat them all yourself. 
Since these are toasted, they have a long shelf-life - just store tightly covered -  and they  freeze well, too.

The beauty of the biscotti is that it is the perfect dunking cookie.  It is traditionally dipped into a glass of wine, or coffee, but I just ate one dunked into a cup of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Celestial Seasonings Tea, and it was divine.  Also divine with hot cocoa, Pero, or a plain glass of milk.  Or on its own, too.

Nonni Anne's Biscotti
1 stick butter (the real stuff)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon anise or almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time; beat well after each one.  Add vanilla and anise or almond flavoring.  Sift flour and baking powder and add to above mixture.  Mix in nuts with wooden spoon.  Separate dough into two parts on floured parchment paper or surface.  Flatten into bars the length of the cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.  Remove and cut on a diagonal.  Place back into the oven for 15 minutes to toast. 

For more cookie recipes, go here: 


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...