I’ve expressed before how I’m not the greatest baker. I have had some positively wonderful creations, but unfortunately just as many epic oven failures. Haven’t we all had cupcakes come out hard as rocks? No you haven’t? Really?
I can’t help that I’m against measuring and have the patience of a five year old when it comes to baking with room temperature butter. I think this is why Biscotti cookies have a special place in my heart. You HAVE to over bake them. You are aiming for dry and crunchy. These were made for me, really.
Biscotti is an Italian term for twice- cooked or twice-baked [or Natalie's specialty]. These cookies have been around for centuries and were meant for traveling: the perfect food for sailors at sea for months at a time: their dry consistency and lack of moisture made them last and become “shelf stable” so to speak [ without the use of any preservatives!].
There’s this place in Pittsburgh that I absolutely adore, Enrico Biscotti Company, located in the Strip District. I’ve been going there with my mom for as long as I can remember. There is a tiny storefront filled with divine pastries, [ the sfogliatelle will literally change your life] and there is a large kitchen in the back not only used for casual lunch diners but also for cooking classes and whatnot held by Enrico himself. It’s a gem in the city to say the least.
While I’d like to learn a lesson from Enrico and his crew regarding their perfect biscotti technique, I think that I do a pretty standup job at making these delicious treats on my own. Try them out and we’ll let you be the judge!
My favorite Biscotti flavors that I make at home both involve cranberries. Cranberry Orange and Cranberry Pistachio. The base and process remains the same for both, just change the add-ins!
You will need:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped.
Oven to 350. Prepare one large or two small cookie sheets with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine both sugars and butter. Beat until well blended. Add eggs. [If you are making Cranberry Orange biscotti: add the orange peel at this time] Beat mixture well.
This batter will be sticky. Douse your hands with non-stick spray and dig into the bowl. Shape the dough into 3 rectangular loaves- about 7 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 3/4 inch thick. [ Think cute, small biscotti]
Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes until the loaves are light golden brown and centers are firm. Carefully remove and let them cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
Here comes the Twice Baked part! With a serrated knife, cut the rectangle [diagonally] into 3/4 inch slices; place cut side up back on the cookie sheet.
Bake again at 350 for an additional 6-8 minutes or until top surface is slightly dry. Turn them over and repeat. [ 6-8 minutes]
Let cool on wire racks.
Enjoy these dunked in coffee. I especially love giving these as gifts around Christmas- the pistachio cranberry color combination is festive and delicious!
over bake twice bake some cookies!