If you typically offer coffee or tea to guests, serve a plate of homemade biscotti to accompany it. Or, if you like to give HOLIDAY GIFTS of baked goods, biscotti are a nice twist to the typical cookie and they keep well for several weeks. This basic recipe is delicious as is, but it’s just the jumping off point to customizing your own two favorite combinations of biscotti, per batch. The fun part is deciding on just two!
Below is the basic recipe first, then a list of yummy ‘add in’ flavors and ingredients. Choose favorite combinations or whatever you think would be appealing. (The homemade biscotti pictured above are ‘Lemon and White Chocolate Biscotti’. Delicious!) If you REALLY want to go for it, half-dip each biscotti biscuit in melted chocolate! Homemade biscotti also make a perfect edible party favor, hostess or holiday gift!
Makes about 3 dozen of one type of biscotti or 1 1/2 dozen each of two different biscotti combinations.
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (not imitation)
pinch of Kosher salt
Suggested flavorings: (if desired, add one)
-1/2 tsp almond extract for a hint of almond flavor (if using this, reduce vanilla extract above to 1/2 tsp)
-1 tsp anise (strong licorice flavor, but a classic Italian flavoring)
-2 tsp lemon, lime or orange zest
Suggested add-in’s: (use 1/2 cup for the whole batch, 1/4 cup for each halved batch)
-good quality, semi-sweet or white chocolate chunks (chocolate chips will work as well)
-chopped nuts of preference (almond slivers, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, macadamias or cashews)
-diced, DRIED fruit (raisins, sweetened cranberries, cherries, apricots, etc.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1) Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease the cookie sheet (or use 2 biscotti baking pans).
2) In medium mixing bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt.
3) In second large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, (add in any other additional flavoring or zest). Add sugar and combine.
4) In thirds, beat dry mixture into wet mixture. Mix well. You may need to use (clean) hands to work the ingredients into the dough towards the end. Be sure there aren’t any flour lumps, but don’t over mix. (If your entire batch of biscotti will be just one combination, add in your additional ‘add-in’ ingredients now.)
5) Divide dough into two halves. If adding unique ‘add-in’ ingredients to the two individual doughs, do so now. Work them into the dough with your hands, if necessary, but don’t over knead the dough.
6) With floured hands, form two long ‘loaves’ of biscotti dough on your prepared cookie sheet, each roughly 12 inches long x 2 1/2-3 inches wide x 1 inch thick. Pat each loaf flat across the top.
7) Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the cookie sheet once, until golden brown. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Remove the biscotti loaves from the cookie sheet with two spatulas to a wire cooling rack. Leave to cool for 20-30 minutes.
8) Work on a cutting board with one ‘loaf’ at a time. Make 1/2 inch slices of biscotti at a diagonal angle. Place the individual biscotti biscuits back onto the cookie sheet, side facing up. Bake a second time for 10 minutes. Turn the biscuits over and bake the other side for 10 minutes.
9) Remove the biscotti to a cooling rack. Once cooled, store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.