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.
BISCOTTI (THE MOTHER RECIPE)
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.