Biscotti -- which literally means "twice-baked " -- are slightly sweet and ultra-crumbly Italian biscuits. The cookies' dry, crisp texture is a result of the second baking. They are the perfect accompaniment for a frothy cappuccino, a breakfast tea or even a sweet dessert wine. More importantly, they're freaking delicious.
I'm making a version filled with chopped hazelnuts and dipped in dark chocolate, but you can experiment with any flavors you like (pistachio and dried cherry, cranberry and toasted almonds, orange zest and macadamia nut, chocolate, chocolate chip...the list goes on).
Here's how to make these treats at home:
Ingredients makes about 20 cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup almond flour (gives the cookies the perfect, crumbly texture)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp good-quality almond extract
- 1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
- 1 cup shelled hazelnuts
- 8 oz dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread hazelnuts, with shells, on baking sheet and toast about 10-15 minutes, shaking pan one or two times to toss. Let cool, then rub to remove skins. Chop and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and extract. Mix into dry ingredients, stirring until a stiff dough forms. Stir in chopped hazelnuts.
Flour hands and divide the dough in half, forming each half into logs about ten inches long.
Transfer logs to a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake until golden-brown, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle.
Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees.
Using a serrated knife, cut log on a bias to form long, inch-wide biscuits.
Return to baking sheet cut side up and bake until toasted and slightly hard, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave and dip in either half lengthwise or the bottom half of each biscuit. Let dry on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.
Eat these babies immediately or store in air-tight container (will store up to several weeks).
And don't stop here. Experiment with all wonderful flavors by switching up the nuts, dried fruits and extract flavors. Zests, coffee and cocoa powder make great additions as well.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.