“Biscotti” is the plural form of biscotto. The word originates from the Medival Latin word biscoctus, meaning “twice-cooked/baked.” It defined oven baked goods that were baked twice, so they were very dry and could be stored for long periods of time. Pliny the Elder boasted that such goods would be edible for centuries. Such nonperishable food was particularly useful during journeys and wars, and twice baked breads were a staple food of the Roman Legions.
Now that we are done with the history lesson (lol) lets cut straight to the facts. How good is this biscuit (especially when soaked in a cup of coffee)? Truth be told I always thought that this would be hard to make. However I found the process to be very easy and enjoyable.There have been many variations of this Italian Biscuit, here is my favorite of the kind I sampled in a great bakery in Brooklyn, NY called BAKED. I sat with my beloved on bench in Brooklyn Heights that glorious day end enjoyed every last bite.
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups blanched hazelnuts, toasted
- 1¾ cups (10 onces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 large egg white
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar mixture together until the color is uniform and the mixture is thick. Add the vanilla and beat for 5 seconds. Add the flour in two batches and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix for a few seconds more. Add the hazelnuts and chocolate chips and beat until just combined.
- Turn the dough out onto the prepared baking sheet and shape into a log about 16 inches long, 3½ inches wide and ¾ inch thick. Use an offset spatula to smooth the surface of the dough. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until firm, but not browned. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes.
- lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- While the log is cooling, whisk the egg white and 2 tablespoons water together and use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash onto the top of the log.
- Cut the log into ¾ – inch slices with a serrated knife, set them on the baking sheet cut sides up and down, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the individual biscotti to a rack to cool completely. The Biscotti will keep in a airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
The Biscotti will keep in a airtight container for up to 2 weeks.