Oh biscotti, how I love thee. Crispy, tasty, easy to make, fat free and mostly addictive. A loose interpretation of these Italian cookies is “twice baked”- first you bake the entire ball of dough, then after it cools, thin cookies are sliced and then baked again until dried out. If you have two bowls and a good bread knife, you are set, because those are the only tools you will need to make these cookies. If you don’t have dry figs, macadamia nuts or pistachios in your pantry, no need to worry, the fillings can change according to whatever you have at home- see the ingredient list below. Get to work.
Ingredients for 35 cookies:
For the buttering of parchment paper:
- Oil spray (such as Pam)
For the biscotti:
- 2½ cups (350 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons Frangelico (Hazelnut liqueur) or any liqueur of your choice
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
- 1 cup dry figs, cut into quarters or ¾ cup raisins, preferably light raisins, because they burn less during baking
- ½ cup macadamia nuts or hazelnuts, (not roasted) or ½ cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup pistachio, peeled (not roasted), or ½ cup almond slices
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and spray a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, egg yolks, liqueur and sugar.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture into the well and mix until the mixture is combined and sticky dough has formed. I prefer to knead the dough by hand, but either way it is important that the kneading be a short process, because the shorter amount of time the dough is worked, the crispier the cookies will come out. Add the dry figs, macadamia nuts and pistachios and mix just until they are integrated into the dough.
- Place the dough on the parchment paper, and with wet hands, form the dough into a 4 in. x 12 in.(10 cm. x 30 cm.) “loaf”, and flatten it to about 1 inch (2½ cm.) high.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the dough is golden and firm to touch. Remove from oven and allow to chill to room temperature.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (150°C).
- Place the loaf on a cutting board and using a bread knife, slice ½ cm. slices on the diagonal.
- Place the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes until the cookies are totally dry. Turn the cookies face down and bake for another 10-15 minutes. The cookies should be light in color and not golden.
- Allow cookies to reach room temperature before serving and store in an airtight container.
Chocolate Biscotti– replace ¼ cup flour with ¼ cup good quality cacao and replace ½ cup of pistachios with ½ cup chocolate chips. Keep in mind that the chocolate chips will make the loaf a bit harder to slice but it’s totally do-able!