Biscotti is an Italian biscuit cookie. The name comes from a Latin word meaning “twice-baked.” Biscotti cookies are quite hard and dry, as they are meant to be dipped in a drink. They were originally dipped in Italian dessert wines, but today most people enjoy biscotti with their coffee or tea. I particularly like to coat my biscotti in chocolate and let it melt off into my coffee. Traditionally biscotti is made with almonds, but one thing I love about this cookie is that you can change the flavor quite a bit while using the same basic base recipe. The recipe I am making today incorporates cranberries and pistachios, but you could use orange zest and hazelnuts, or even pumpkin puree and spices to make other flavors. Just try to keep the liquid to dry ratio the same as this recipe.
CRANBERRY PISTACHIO BISCOTTI
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1 stick Butter
- 5 ea Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 3 1/3 cups Flour
- 1 1/3 cups Cornmeal
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 cup Almonds
- 1 cup Pistachios
- 1 cup Dried Cranberries
For this recipe I would recommend using a stand mixer, but you could also mix it by hand. If you do mix this dough by hand, running your hands under water and keeping them wet will help keep the dough from sticking to you. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- The first step is to cream the butter and sugar together in your stand mixer, on low speed, using the paddle attachment. Cut the butter into smaller chunks before you begin mixing. Continue mixing until there are no butter chunks left and the mixture looks like damp sand.
- Next, add the eggs and vanilla and mix, still on low speed, until the liquid is well incorporated. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
- Now we can add the dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, and baking soda. Again, mix until the dry ingredients are well incorporated, scraping the bowl periodically.
- The last step in making the dough is to add the nuts and dried fruit. Add them to the dough in the bowl of your mixer mix for about 30 seconds. The dough will be rather thick at this point.
- Now it’s time to shape our biscotti into logs.
I chose to make extra long pieces of biscotti, so I made one large log, but you could make shorter biscotti by turning the dough into two smaller logs. Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the dough from your mixing bowl onto the baking sheet. A bowl scraper is a great tool to assist in this. Remember to wet your hands with water if the dough is sticking to you too much.
- Use your hands to mold the dough into either one or two logs the length of your baking sheet. If you chose to make one log, it should be about 5 inches wide and about an inch tall. If you chose to make two logs, they should be about 2 1/2-3 inches wide and about an inch tall. Be sure to leave some room, as the dough will expand during baking.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the biscotti logs for about 30-40 minutes. If you are baking the larger log, it may take a little longer depending on your oven. The log will be a light golden brown color and start to crack on the top.
- Allow the biscotti to cool for about 45 minutes. Place the biscotti log on a cutting board and get a serrated knife ready. Cut the biscotti on a diagonal into pieces about 1/2 inch thick.
- Stand the biscotti up on your baking sheet, leaving space between each piece. You may need to use a second baking sheet to leave enough space between the pieces. Place the biscotti back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes to dry out completely. The biscotti should be hard, but not have much color to it.
- At this point your biscotti is ready to enjoy, but you can step it up a notch if you want! You can dip the biscotti in melted chocolate and add crushed nuts as a topping. Get creative and enjoy a sweet cookie with your coffee!