Updated: Sep 6
You don't have to be Italian to make these cookies.
Yes, biscotti is a very traditional Italian treat, especially around the holidays, and probably every family has a recipe for it.
Biscotti may sound fancy and you may buy it only at Starbucks, but let me tell you, it's a very simple inexpensive cookie to make. It stays fresh for a long time and makes for a perfect holiday gift, which can be made ahead of time.
They are perfectly toasty crunchy treats and made for dipping into tea or coffee or any other favorite beverage. My kids love them with Orange Hot Chocolate with Chaga Powder. Creamy and Vegan. Yummy!
Variations of biscotti
This basic dough recipe can work for any of your imagined combinations.
There are so many ways to make your very own biscotti. I choose cranberries and kiwis because they produce great color especially at Christmas. Here are a few more variations:
Almond and Amaretto
Pistachio and cardamom
Chocolate with chocolate chunks
Cranberry and orange
Walnuts and raisins
And the last but not least, the most classic is with Anise
Dipping them in melted chocolate will bring them to another level.
What is the story about these cookies?
The original name for biscotti is Cantuccini almond Italian cookies. These cookies are better known as biscotti which means ‘twice-cooked’ in English and that's exactly how you have to make them. It is in the second baking sequence when the crunchy and crumbling texture is developed making them perfect for dipping. Traditionally the cookies are dipped in Vin Santo, an Italian dessert wine. But nowadays they’re also served with tea or coffee.
The original recipe for cantuccini biscotti creates a rather hard cookie because no fat is used. My version of this recipe contains a small amount of butter but is still crunchy and dry. Mine are much easier to bite into, soft probably isn’t the correct word to use, but compared to the original ones they’ve got a soft crisp bite.
If you use nuts, always toast them. This applies to any recipe using nuts because toasting produces more flavor.
Soaking dried fruit in any aromatic liquid is a good idea.
Don't over knead the dough.
This dough is meant to be sticky so during the forming of the logs, use as little flour as possible.
Leave plenty of space between logs on a baking sheet.
Cut the logs diagonally while still warm.
Don't forget to lower the oven temperature for the second bake.
Let's do it...
Prep time: 5 minutes
Making time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 55 minutes
Cooling time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Yields: 20 pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup apple cider (for hydration of cranberries)
1/2 cup chopped dried kiwi
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Celtic salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup raw cane sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 375F and line the cookie sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
2. Rehydrate cranberries by placing them in a small bowl and covering them with the apple cider. Allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes until they are plump. Drain and set aside.
3. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder).
4. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Add eggs one at the time ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
6. Add vanilla extract. Once it is completely mixed, then start adding the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder). Before mixing in the last scoop of the dry ingredients, first mix in the dried fruit.
7. Mix on low speed until combined.
8. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand gently 2-3 times to bring dough together into a consistent mass.
9. Divide the dough in half using a dough cutter. With your hands, shape each piece into the shape of a log and place on the lined cookie sheet.
10. Bake the logs in the preheated oven until the logs are set, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack, and cool for at least 10 minutes.
11. Then using a serrated knife cut the logs into 1/2-inch slices and lay back out onto the baking tray.
12. Reduce the oven temp to 300F. Bake for 20 minutes until firm, even longer if you like them very crisp.
13. Allow the cookies to cool and then store in airtight containers until ready to eat.