Monday, March 10, 2008

Homemade Biscotti

I made biscotti today, these are twice baked, crisp Italian cookies, made for dunking in coffee or tea. I love making biscotti, they seem like such a treat to me because I associate them with fancy coffee shops that charge a large sum for their beautiful pastries and treats.
I tried something different with these biscotti and added some chocolate chips and hazelnuts, while not as pretty to look at, they taste great, and will be a really good accompaniment with coffee in the morning. Tonight I'm enjoying them with tea and they are wonderful.

Here's my recipe:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3/4 cup of pistachios (I often substitute whatever additions I have on hand)

Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the orange zest, vanilla, 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk (reserving the white). Stir just until combined than mix in pistachios. Knead 2-3 minutes on a lightly floured surface. the dough will be very stiff and may be crumbly add a few drops of water if needed to bring it together. Roll dough into a log and place on baking sheet, flatten top slightly. Brush the top using the reserved egg white. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 300, allow the log to cool slightly (so you don't burn yourself) using a serrated knife cut into 1/2 inch slices place flat-side down on the baking sheet and bake 8 minutes, flip over and bake an additional 8 minutes or until slightly colored, crisp and dry. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, store in an air tight container.

You can change this recipe up, it's tasty with pistachios but I've made it with dried fruits, pecans, walnuts, almonds, and whatever else I have on hand.
Don't skip the orange zest, it really adds a nice depth of flavor.

My husband's favorite is just plain hazelnut, I hope he enjoys the addition of chocolate chips. We'll find out tomorrow morning.

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