The first time I remember having biscotti was at my French tutor's home in Colorado. She had just taught an Italian lesson and let me nibble on the traditional cookies she had fittingly prepared. I don't remember much about how they tasted or what was in them, only that I was happy to translate sentences and conjugate verbs that day.
It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago, while reading my latest issue of the Food Network Magazine that biscotti made their way into my life again. Ina Garten's recipe looked too good to resist. With just a few tweaks here and there, the perfect coffee or tea accompaniments were made.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 + 1/3 cups almond meal or almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature, one separated
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt + more for sprinkling
- 1 cup cup shelled unsalted pistachios
- 1/2 cup whole dried cherries
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 300°.
Begin by adding all of your dry ingredients (flour, almond flour/meal, and baking powder) to a bowl. Give them a good toss.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar for two minutes. Add the cinnamon and vanilla, followed by two whole eggs and the yolk of the third egg. Reserve the remaining egg white for later.
Once everything is combined, add the dry ingredients in 3-4 parts, mixing only until everything is incorporated.
Divide the dough evenly. I use a kitchen scale to make it as exact as possible.
To one batch, add the sliced almonds, 1/2 cup pistachios, and the chocolate chips. Mix together.
To the other dough, add the rest of the pistachios and the dried cherries.
Form each into a ball on a well-floured surface.
Form into a 12 inch log that is a couple of inches tall.
Place each log onto its own lined baking sheet. Brush them with the reserved whisked egg whites. You won't use it all, so keep it aside for another brushing later.
Pop them into the oven, side by side. Bake for 45 minutes. They will be on the soft side when you take them out. Let them cool for 30 minutes. I only waited 20 and nothing bad happened.
Lower the oven temperature to 275° F.
Carefully move each log onto a cutting board and cut at an angle. Space the cuts about 1" apart. You should get about 12 from each.
Once done, put the cut biscotti back on their pans. Brush the top side with the rest of the egg whites. On the chocolate biscotti, sprinkle them with kosher salt.
Throw them back in the oven for 25 minutes. Then turn them over and bake for another 25 minutes. If the chocolate biscotti look like they could do with a bit more browning, give them another few minutes, but keep and eye on 'em.
Take them off the pan and let them cool on a rack for as long as you can stand it. If you let them cool completely, they'll get that nice biscotti crunch that we all dream about.
Please serve with something hot. Tyler and I like ours in coffee or tea, but I bet they'd be pretty decadent dipped in a mug of hot chocolate.
I've thought about this recipe since making them and there's so much that could be done in a million different ways.
Try changing up the fixings or make the log longer and thinner. Cute, smaller biscotti would make an ideal gift, wrapped in a cellophane bag tied neatly with a bow.