Biscotti
Biscotti are crisp Italian cookies that are ideal for dipping in coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or wine.  Traditionally, biscotti are made by baking cookie dough in long logs, cutting these into slices, and reheating them to dry them out.  The word biscotti means "twice baked."   The longer this second baking is, the harder the cookies will be. Originally the cookies were twice-baked so they could be stored for long periods of time.  In different regions of Italy, biscotti are prepared and flavored differently. 
It should be noted that in Italian the word biscotti is used as a generic word which refers to any type of cookie.  In English the word refers to the more specific Italian twice-baked cookie.  Biscotti can be made ahead and kept in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks, or frozen for up to 2 months.  Serve with espresso, wine, or affogato.
Neapolitan Biscotti
(Makes about 48)

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups whole almonds, divided
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Butter the foil.

In a food processor, grind 3/4 cup of the almonds. Transfer the almonds to a bowl.
Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
In another bowl, whisk together honey, oil, egg, yolk, and orange zest.
Add honey mixture to dry ingredients and stir until dough holds together.

Place dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Add remaining 3/4 cup of almonds and blend into dough to distribute evenly.
Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into a 12 x3 -inch log.
Place logs on buttered foil, spacing about 4 inches apart.
Bake about 40 minutes, or until firm.  There may be cracks.
Remove sheets from oven and place on a rack for 15 minutes to cool.
Don't shut off the oven!

Transfer logs to a cutting surface. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs diagonally into 3/4-inch thick slices. Place the slices, cut side down onto the baking sheets.
Bake 10-12 minutes, until dry. Cool on sheet on rack.
Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti

(Makes about 2-1/2 dozen)

Ingredients:

1 cup shelled unsalted pistachio nuts
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast about 10 minutes.
Cool, then coarsely chop and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until blended.
Beat in the egg and orange juice.

In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Stir in the nuts. 
Divide the dough in half. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Butter 2 cookie sheets.
Form each half of the dough into an 11 x 4-inch log. Place one log on each cookie sheet. Bake the logs for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Do not shut off the oven!

Transfer logs to a cutting surface.
Using a serrated knife cut on the diagonal into 3/4-inch slices.
Place the slices cut side down onto the cookie sheets and bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire rack.
Orange-Chocolate Chip Biscotti

(Makes about 36)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, cream the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in
the orange liqueur and orange zest.  Add the flour, baking powder, and salt; beat until well blended.  Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.  Gather the dough together and divide into 2 equal pieces.

With dampened hands, shape each piece into a 2 x 14-inch log.
Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake 30 minutes or until firm and lightly browned.  Remove sheet from oven and place on a rack for 20 minutes to cool.  Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Transfer logs to a cutting surface. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices upright onto the baking sheet.  Bake about 30 minutes, until the biscotti are dry and pale golden brown. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Espresso Biscotti

(Makes 3-4 dozen)

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons coffee beans
2 tablespoons Kahlua or espresso
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.  Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Grind coffee beans to a fine powder. Place in a small bowl with Kahlua or coffee. Microwave on high 10-15 seconds to heat.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs and coffee/Kahlua mixture. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. 
Mix until blended. Fold in almonds.

Divide dough into 2 portions. Shape each piece into a 1-1/2 x 14-inch log.
Place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove sheet from oven and place on a rack for 10 minutes to cool. Don't shut off the oven!

Transfer logs to a cutting surface.
Using a serrated knife, cut the logs diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices.
Place the slices, cut side down onto the baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, until dry. Cool on sheets on wire rack
Anise Biscotti
(Makes 3-4 dozen)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon anise extract
3-1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the oil, eggs, sugar, and anise extract.
Add the flour and baking powder.  Mix well.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Shape each piece into a 1-1/2 x 14-inch log.
Place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove sheet from oven and place on a rack for 10 minutes to cool. Don't shut off the oven!

Transfer logs to a cutting surface. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices, cut side down onto the baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, until dry. Cool on sheets on wire rack.
White Chocolate Macadamia Biscotti
(Makes 3-4 dozen)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Amaretto
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup macadamia nuts
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.  Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and Amaretto. Add flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well. Fold in nuts and chips.

Divide dough into 2 pieces. Shape each piece into a 1-1/2 x 14-inch log.
Place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove sheet from oven and place on a rack for 10 minutes to cool. Don't shut off the oven!

Transfer logs to a cutting surface. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices, cut side down onto the baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, until dry. Cool on sheets on wire rack.
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DESSERTS  >  COOKIES  >  BISCOTTI
BISCOTTI MAKING TIPS
1.  Very lightly dampen your hands with cool water when shaping sticky biscotti dough.

2.  Bring eggs, butter, and other chilled ingredients to room temperature before using so that they will blend better. 

3.  Remember that every oven is a little different, so check to see how quickly the biscotti are baking several minutes before the recipe recommends.  Adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

4. If baking more than one pan of biscotti at a time, reverse the positons of the pans halfway through the baking time.

5.  Store nuts and seeds in tighly closed containers in the refrigerator or freezer.  Because they have a lot of fat in them, they can easily pick up unwanted flavors from other foods in the refrigerator.  Also, at room temperature, they will quickly go rancid.
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SPECIAL FEATURES
RECIPES
Neapolitan Biscotti
Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti
Orange-Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Espresso Biscotti
Anise Biscotti
White Chocolate Macadamia Biscotti
Plow & Hearth
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RECIPE INGREDIENTS
Pure Anise Extract brings a licorice flavor to Italian favorites including biscotti, pizzelle and breads as well as dozens of others cakes and cookies in your recipe collection.  A few drops can also be used to replace ground or whole anise seed.  You can also use 1 tsp. of Anise Extract to replace 1-2 tbsp. of anise liqueur in your recipes.
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