seeds, pistachio nuts, hazelnuts or almonds are the most popular
additions to crunchy "twice-cooked" Italian biscuits.
When drizzled with melted chocolate they may be given as gifts.
In Italy, plain biscotti are dipped into coffee. In Provence,
France, they are smaller and served as cookies. To make cookies,
divide the dough into six rolls instead of three. Mandelbrot, or
“almond bread,” is a traditional Jewish cookie which
resembles biscotti but is a thinner 1/4-inch slice. You can add
chocolate pieces, dried fruit or any of your favorite nuts.
Anise is also delicious.
1 cup butter
cups granulated sugar
teaspoons almond extract
teaspoon baking soda
cup toasted slivered almonds
(4-ounce) sweet chocolate bar or milk chocolate
cup sliced almonds
the oven to 350°.
2. In a large bowl,
use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar
it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then
in the almond extract.
3. Sift flour,
baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Add to
butter alternately with buttermilk, ending with flour.
4. Toast the
slivered almonds on a baking sheet in the oven for a
minutes, stir into dough. Toast sliced almonds on the
sheet, set aside.
5. Shape dough into
three 10 x 3-inch oval loaves about 1 inch
high; place on a nonstick baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Cool 15 minutes, then cut into 1/2-inch diagonal
with the knife more than pressing down to avoid
crumbling the delicate
6. Turn oven off,
then place slices back on the baking sheets
and return to the warm oven; leave
overnight. If slices are not
completely dried out,
heat at 200° for one to two hours.
biscotti may be made by melting the
bar in a plastic bag on 1/2 power in
the microwave for a minute.
in 10-second intervals, pressing chocolate with
a spoon, it tends to keep its
shape. This makes it hard to tell if
it is melted. Chocolate can become very
hot so you may want
to wear gloves.
8. Snip corner of
bag. Drizzle melted chocolate over biscotti, then
quickly sprinkle with sliced
almonds before chocolate
Hint: For New Year’s gifts, drizzle with dark
and sprinkle with nonpareils. Package
when chocolate is set.
You can make up little gift
baskets by adding a wrapped
1.75-ounce bag of ground coffee, 4 wrapped chocolate
(pour extra melted chocolate into
molds, set in freezer
in cellophane and tie with ribbon), a
nutmeg grinder and a little
bottle of vanilla or other flavored
Makes 8 bags containing about 6 biscotti
in each bag