Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Whole Lotti Biscotti . . .

That was the name of my last cooking class.     Biscotti are really very easy little cookies to make -- for you don't have to "fuss" with them (you put the log in and bake for a good long while, take it out to cool, cut into "fingers" and bake again for at least 15 minutes -- way easier than cutting out cookies or dropping spoonful on a baking sheet and waiting 8 to 10 minutes and then repeat!)

Like other cooks, I find a recipe and make it and make it and make it -- for a while I made biscotti at least every week and if I had to take something, it was biscotti!

Then as I usually do when I "overdo" something, I grew tired of making biscotti and I was done . . .
until friend Cynthia asked me to teach a class.

So I made a "Whole Lotti Biscotti"!

A baking tray filled with biscotti!

Three kinds fill the baking sheet -- rosemary walnut, pistachio cranberry and espresso.     All made with the "mother" recipe with additions made -- some were online suggestions while some I made up myself!

And the final pan, at life+style, waiting to go in the oven . . .

Chocolate walnut biscotti.     You can't make a "lotti biscotti" without making something chocolate!

Each class participant got a cello bag filled with four kinds of biscotti, there was biscotti to taste and coffee to drink and even a glass of Sutter Home Moscato so that they could see how good biscotti was done the Italian way -- dipped in wine instead of espresso.

I so enjoy teaching cooking classes and this class reminded me that I shouldn't wait years before I make biscotti again!

But I must admit that my favorite biscotti is the traditional one -- anise flavored and filled with almonds.   I am a purist in so many things -- I prefer my scones to be either plain or fruit, my Creme Brûlée vanilla flavored.    

Here is what I call the "Mother Recipe" -- a basic black dress of a biscotti recipe to which additions can be made.


2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 c. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 t. grated lemon rind
1/4 t. salt
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350.

Line a large baking sheet (half sheet pan) with parchment paper or a silicone mat.    Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend.    Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest and salt in a large bowl to blend.    Beat in the eggs 1 at a time.    Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended.    

Form the dough into a 13 inch long, 3 inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet.   Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes.    Cool for 30 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board.    Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick slices.    Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet.    Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes.    Transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool completely.

NOTE:   Biscotti should have some sort of nut.   Almonds are the traditional nut, but I had walnuts left over from Christmas and so I used those.     

For additions it is 2/3 cup of "additions" (i.e. cranberries, dried blueberries, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, etc.) and 3/4 cup nuts, coarsely chopped.

After they are baked the second time and cooled, you can dip them into chocolate or white chocolate or spread the chocolate on one side.  


Carol at Serendipity said...

I have never made these. I think I will this afternoon or tomorrow. We are trying to avoid the "big" desserts and instead sit in the living room after dinner with espresso. I think I would like them dipped in wine. Is there a specific wine?


Karen said...

Oh, Martha, what an inspiration your posting is! I love biscotti and forever and ever have made it for Christmas using my Italian-American mother's recipe. I got a little bored with just making almond and fruit so branched out and with crushed peppermint candy and then also dipped ends of the biscotti in chocolate... dark and white. (Not so unusual but a change for me.) Now I would like to figure out.. is there a way to make a savory biscotti? I think you would be the person to ask.
I was thrilled that you mentioned dipping biscotti in red wine. So few of my friends ever knew that.
I'm experimenting this week with a recipe for spaghetti from my parents' church (mostly Italian) and will serve to friends as a test to see if we want to use it for a fundraiser for our church. I'm thinking about making biscotti.... I'll try your recipe this time.
Thanks for this incredible post! I really enjoyed it.
Have a super weekend.
Ladybug Creek

Karen said...

Me again.. (you really got my wheels turning!) is your recipe for a hard or soft biscotti? My biscotti is more of the soft kind.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I made biscotti once, also. Thank you for your "Mother Recipe". All your variations sound wonderful, too. I'm kind of like you on being a purist with my food. Thanks for the suggestion on dipping in wine!!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I'm your newest follower! Follow me back?

Pondside said...

I've never made Biscotti - but if I lived in your town I'd take the class and then I'm sure I'd make them!

On Crooked Creek said...

I've not made biscotti befor, but have always wondered at their difficulty. I've copied your recipe. Now if we'd just get some SNOWy weather here on the Prairie, these would definitely be in the baking!