04 December 2010

From my Italian family archives: Biscotti

Hello dear readers!  Wow, it has been so long since I've last posted--the time has flown as my day-job has been demanding a lot of my energy of late--but I am really excited to be back with another wonderful recipe.

As Christmas draws closer, my thoughts have inevitably turned to biscotti, one of my family's Christmas baking traditions.  Some of my early memories of my mother in the kitchen are of her pulling biscotti loaves from the oven, slicing them, and then carefully broiling the cookies on each side.  The anticipation would build during the two-part baking process, and the delicious toasty crumbs that broke off from the slices would only whet my appetite for more.  Though in recent years we've been using a stellar Tuscan cantucci recipe, I was missing the comforting almond-sesame combination in this family recipe from my great-aunt Diana Todaro.

So here it is, an early Christmas present from my family to yours.  It's delightfully straightforward to make, and the results are fantastic.  It's perfect served with a demitasse of espresso or a little glass of schnapps for an after-dinner treat, or with some tea for a cozy afternoon snack.

And I love the original directions so much that I'm posting them verbatim below! 

Aunt Diana's Biscotti
Makes about 40 cookies

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder 
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup chopped (ground) almonds
4 cups flour
sesame seeds

Beat eggs; reserve a little for brushing on cookies later. Add oil, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and almonds. Mix. Add flour one cup at a time. Knead dough about 5 minutes. Divide into 4 balls. Roll each until 10” long “frankfurter.” Place on greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 375°F for ½ hour until golden brown. Remove from oven. Slice and broil each side. Watch carefully!

1 comment:

Amy said...

I've been looking for a good biscotti recipe to go with coffee. I think I've found my winner! Thanks so much. :)

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