Friday, January 15, 2016

Traditional Italian Almond Biscotti

Crunchy, light and nutty
These Italian biscotti filled with toasted whole almonds are perfect for any occasion
Ready for the weekend?? I am!! 
I can't wait to catch up on some sleep. It's been almost a week since I've been back from my trip to Italy, and I'm still waking up way early, and can't possibly go back to sleep. And of course, before 9 pm I'm crawling into bed. Exhausted! 
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen some of my vacation pictures. Here is one of me in the mountain of Vezzena, trying to look cool before going down this black run. The shady part at the end was quite an ice sheet... So much fun!! Especially given that I made it down bruise-free :)
Anyways, after my trip to Italy, what's better than posting a recipe for traditional and oh-so delicious almond biscotti?!
In Italian, "biscotti" means cookies, plural of "biscotto". Obviously we don't call them just biscotti there (but "cantucci") or it would be really confusing! They  are originally from Tuscany and are traditionally made with whole almonds. Alternatively, they are prepared with pine nuts instead of the almonds, or with the addition of chocolate chips, or dipped in chocolate. Also very delicious!
As the name suggests ("bi" twice, "cotto" cooked) the interesting and unique thing about these cookies is that they are baked twice. First you bake them as a long, flat loaf. Then cut in diagonal slices and bake again to toast, a little on each side. This gives their characteristic crunchiness and lightness that is not found in other cookies. 


If you lived in Tuscany, you would eat biscotti after dinner, dunked in "vin santo", a sweet, intensely fragrant and aromatic dessert wine. I personally eat them really at any time of the day, dipped in cappuccino, latte, tea and, why not sweet wine.  You should try it too!
Here is the recipe for you.

RICETTA in ITALIANO                                                                        PRINTABLE RECIPE
Ingredients: to make about 12 biscotti
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz (55 gr) of unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 pinch of salt (1/8 of a teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • zest of half lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (250 gr) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (150 gr) of toasted, unsalted whole almonds

Preparation time: About one hour

Directions:
1: Preheat the oven to  350° F (175°C). In a large bowl, blend the eggs with the sugar.

2: Melt the butter by cutting it in pieces in a heat safe container, placing it in a small pan with an inch of boiling water, until it melts. Or melt in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds.

3: Add the melted butter to the egg and sugar, together with a pinch of salt, the vanilla extract and the lemon zest. Stir some more.

4: Blend in the flour and the baking power.

5: Add the almonds and mix them in using a spoon.

6: Place the dough on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with a bit of flour and using your hands, make it into a long roll. Flatten it out, as shown in picture. Bake for 20 minutes.

7: Remove from the oven, and let it cool off for 10 minutes. On a cutting board, with a sharp knife, cut out the cookies (about 12), diagonally, and place them back on the cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 8 more minutes, flip them around and bake for another 8 minutes, until each side is golden brown.


Buonissimi :)


2 comments:

  1. They look amazing! I bet they are perfect with a nice cup of coffee :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. They look amazing! I bet they are perfect with a nice cup of coffee :)

    ReplyDelete