Biscotti di Prato2012-08-03
- Yield : about 48
- Servings : 48
- Prep Time : 20m
- Cook Time : 35m
- Ready In : 60m
This information is per serving.
Calories from Fat40
Serving Size1 biscotti (26 g)
Biscotti are one of the most popular and most recognizable Italian cookies in the United States.
Biscotti is Italian for cookies like the English (England) word biscuit. It refers to all cookies, not just the long, narrow twice-baked biscotti sold in the United States.
Biscotti di Prato is a variation of cantucci di Prato named after the city in the region of Tuscany. Like so many things American, cantucci probably sounded to foreign and biscotti seemed more appropriate since these cookies are usually baked twice. This produces a dry, hard cookie that remains fresh for months without refrigeration or freezing (stored in a cool, dry place), and is perfect for dipping in coffee, milk, or liquor. Homemade biscotti can be stored in a cool, dry place for months. For longer storage, they can be frozen like most other cookies.
Authentic cantucci uses no butter, margarine, or shortening resulting in a very hard cookie. While this makes them ideal for dipping, they can be difficult to eat dry especially for people with dentures or gum disease. Dipping in hot coffee softens the cookies in a few seconds.
This recipe has fat producing a light textured biscotti you can bake either once or twice depending on your preference. Baked once and stored at room temperature covered by paper towels or a clean dish cloth allows the biscotti to air dry extending their self life while retaining a moister texture compared to twice baked biscotti. Baking a 2nd time, toasts and speeds up the drying process while producing firm but hot rock hard cookies.
This recipe can be made with or without nuts. Almonds are typically added. You can add one cup of toasted slivered or whole almonds to the dough in Step 4 if desired. Slivered almonds makes cutting the biscotti a little easier. The photo shows biscotti with toasted, slivered almonds.
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 8 oz (225 g) butter or margarine, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla, almond, lemon or anise extract
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups (580 - 650 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder
- Non-stick vegetable cooking spray or parchment paper
Method of Preparation
Allow melted butter to cool.
Preheat oven to 350°F (175C). Lightly spray one or two 12x18 inch baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
In a large bowl, with a portable electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter with sugar until very light. Add eggs beating well. Mix in extract.
Add flour to the wet ingredients and mix using a wood spoon until well blended. Add flour, 1/4 cup at a time if necessary to form a stiff dough.
Place dough on a floured surface and form into a log. Cut dough into 4 to 5 pieces depending on size of biscotti. Roll each piece to about 2 x 12 inches and place on baking sheet 3 inches apart. Using your fingers, press each piece to about ½ inch thick.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to cooling rack. While still hot, slice each piece diagonally about 1 inch wide.
Transfer cut slices to wire rack or place in a large paper towel lined bowl to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
For twice baked biscotti, return the sliced biscotti cut side down on baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes at 350°F (175C) or until lightly browned as shown in the photo.