Biscotti + Coffee = (makes me) happy. It's very simple.
And because of my simple equation, I was very excited to learn how to make Biscotti in my Northern Italian Cuisine class.
The keys to making biscotti (the ones that I've found useful)...
-In the summer, flour tends to be more moist, so you might have to use more
-In the winter, flour tends to be more dry, so you might have to use less
-If you live in a humid climate you might need more flour
-if you live in a dry climate you might need less flour
-You might also want to see how the stars are aligning on the day you are going to make Biscotti...
I generally start off with the amount of flour the recipe states. If the dough is too moist once all the ingredients are incorporated (and most of the time my biscotti dough is too moist, because the humidity in Toronto is higher) I'll incorporate a 1/4 cup of flour until I get the right texture. What you are looking for in the batter is the consistency of sticky cookie dough.
If you are unsure when it comes to baking 'doneness', it's always better to under-bake biscotti then over-bake...for two reasons: First, the cookie will harden as it cools and second, (once it has cooled a little after the second baking) if the biscotti is not as hard as you would like it to be, you can always put it back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
I have two recipes for biscotti that I love => Toasted Almond & Chocolate and Pistachio & Orange
Chocolate and Toasted Almond Biscotti
(makes about 36 cookies)
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips
(1) Toast almonds. Spread them out on a baking sheet and toast under the broiler (set to high). Once they have a light golden colour take them out of the oven and let cool. Don't walk away because they can go from toasted to burned in about 10 seconds
-can also toast almonds in a pan on medium until they just start to smell
***don't over-toast the almonds as they will give the biscotti a bitter taste***
-once almonds have cooled, chop them up finely
(2) Get two trays and layer one on top of the other. Place a piece of parchment paper on the top tray
-the layering of the two trays ensures that the bottom of the biscotti won't burn
(3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
(4) Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt; set aside
(5) With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the eggs and butter until mixture has lightened in colour
(6) Add the sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract, mix for another 2 minutes
(7) Turn the mixer to low, add chocolate chips and toasted almonds, mix until just combined
(8) Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined
(9) Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about an hour
-this makes the 'sticky' cookie dough easier to work with
(10) Take dough out of bowl and shape into a log on a floured surface
(11) Place shaped log onto layered baking sheets; fix shape if required
|First bake - light golden brown|
|Lay biscotti on baking sheets, cut side down for second baking|