Biscotti are lovely little cookies that go great with coffee, tea, milk, or any other drink you usually like dunk cookies in. They have an aura about them that makes them seem much more complex than they actually are, and hardly anyone even thinks of baking them at home. They're one of those cookies you buy at the store, no questions asked. Today, I'm going to de-mystify them for you. Impress your friends, your relatives, and anyone else you meet at the holiday party circuit this season. Enjoy!
First we'll start with the basic recipe, which you can add any ingredients to if you want. Pistachios, dried fruit, nuts, and various baking chips all work extremely well. You can even change the extract flavoring for a different taste if you want!
How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman
4 T butter, unsalted, plus more for greasing the pans
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla or almond extract (I used vanilla)
2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for the baking sheets
1 t. baking powder
1 or 2 T milk if necessary (was NOT necessary for me.)
Heat the oven to 375°F. Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy; add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended, then add the extract.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the dough a little at a time, beating until just incorporated and adding a little milk if needed to bring the dough together. (Note: I had to add extra flour to mine. The dough should be workable, and not super sticky, when you're ready to shape it. If it's sticking to your hands more than itself, add flour, a little at a time, till it's closer to normal cookie dough consistency.)
Butter two baking sheets and dust them with flour; invert the sheets and tap them to remove excess flour. Divide the dough in half and shape heach half into a 2-in. wide log. Put each log onto a baking sheet.
Bake until the loaves are golden and beginning to crack on top, about 30 minutes; cool the logs on the sheets for a few minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 250°F.
When the loaves are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to cut each on a diagonal into 1/2 in. thick slices. Put the slices on the sheets, return them to the oven, and leave them there, turning once, until they dry out, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks. These will keep in an airtight container for several days.
Chocolate Chip Biscotti.
one recipe biscotti, plus:
1/2 to 3/4 c. mini chocolate chips
8 oz. semisweet chocolate
3 T. unsalted butter
Add the mini chocolate chips to the biscotti dough just before shaping into logs, mix in well.
After baking according to above directions, melt semisweet chocolate and butter together and dip one side of the biscotti in once cool. Let cool. Enjoy!
One final note: My apologies on the lack of pictures on this post. While they did not turn out, the cookies did!