I love baking, so my next task was to attempt to make biscottis. So, I took a cooking class with Chef Gina Stipo from Tuscany. She tours all over the US every year and she came to Jacksonville this past February and I took the class. It was a four course meal and the dessert was biscottis. The Italian name for a biscotti is cantucci and these cookies are traditionally eaten after dinner dipped into Vin Santo, a Tuscan dessert wine. I like a biscotti with an espresso or an after dinner drink like an Amaretto, it is an Italian liqueur and it has an almond flavor. You are suppose to dip the cookie in whatever you are drinking.
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 orange or lemon ( or 1 teaspoon almond extract)
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sliced almonds (or whole raw almonds)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, make a well in the center and add the butter, eggs, and zest or almond extract. Mix with a fork and combine well, pulling the dough together into a ball. Knead in the almonds. The dough should be rather stiff and dry, not too moist and sticky. If to sticky, add a small amount of additional flour.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board, dust the dough and coat your hands with flour, then form it into three logs, 1 inch wide and 1 inch high. Place the logs on the baking sheet and bake 40 minutes.
The logs are done when they are medium brown in color and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and turn onto a board. Cut each log on a slight diagonal into individual cookies, about 1 inch wide, and return to the baking sheets. bake an additional 20 minutes at 300 degrees. Take out of oven and cool on a cookie rack.
*If you decide to dip the biscotti in any type of chocolate (milk or dark) take a cup of chips and microwave for 1 minute, take out and stir. Dip each biscotti and place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper and put in refrigerator for the chocolate to harden. Enjoy!