Biscotti

Nothing says Italy quite like biscotti. Also known as cantuccini in Tuscany, these cookies come from Prato, just north of Florence — the starting point of our Italian journey! And what an amazing journey so far! There is amazing art and architecture and shop windows filled with delicious pastries!

Enjoy these biscotti with coffee or the Italian way with a glass of Vin Santo! We certainly will!

 

The Recipe

by volume                                              by weight

1/2 cup melted butter                    113 grams melted butter

1 cup sugar                                          198 grams sugar

2 tablespoons brandy                    28 grams brandy

2 teaspoons vanilla                         8 grams vanilla

1½ cups whole almonds               215 grams almonds

3 large eggs                                        204 grams eggs

3 cups all purpose flour                360 grams all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder      8 grams baking powder

1 teaspoon salt                                 4 grams salt

 

Directions

Heat oven to 350F. Mix together the sugar, butter, brandy, and vanilla.

Stir in the almonds and eggs until the mixture is smooth.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix just to combine. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Shape the dough into two 16 inch logs and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Press the tops lightly to flatten.

Bake until the tops are golden, approximately 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the logs cool for 15 minutes. With a serrated knife,  cut the logs on the diagonal into 3/4 inch slices.

Turn the slices on their sides and return to the oven until golden.

This takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Flip the slices over halfway through the baking time.

Alternatives

Almond biscotti are very traditional but there is no end to the varieties that can be made. Pistachios and pine nuts are very Italian choices, but chopped dried fruits, other varieties of nuts, and chocolate are all excellent as well.

I like the flavor that brandy gives to these cookies. If you use dried fruits be sure to soak the fruit in the brandy to soften it and to add extra flavor! If you prefer to have no alcohol simply leave it out and soak the dried fruit in orange juice instead. The biscotti will still be delicious!

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