Monday, January 25, 2010


I love biscotti. I've made them for some years now to send to my children as a Care Parcel, because they keep and travel well. Now I'm making them for myself as a low-fat nibble. They're more work than usual biscuits/cookies, because you bake them twice (that's where the name comes from) but worth it.

Here's the basic recipe, and some variations.

2 cups of plain flour - you can use all white, or add some wholemeal (whole wheat)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
half a cup of nuts. Almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts and hazelnuts are all good. For Christmas, I used hazelnuts and glace cherries. Glace ginger is great too.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (400 F).

Put dry ingredients (but not nuts etc) in a bowl or mixer and blend. Mix eggs and vanilla essence, and add to mix to make a firm dough. Add nuts, fruit etc.

Divide into 2 oblong "logs". Not too long, not too skinny. The dough should be firm enough for the logs to hold their shape without collapsing. Place on baking sheets and bake for around 25 minutes or until firm in the middle.

Cool for at least half an hour. With a bread knife, cut slightly diagonal slices about 1/4" thick. Hopefully they won't fall apart into crumbs. Lay the slices back on the baking trays (you will need 2 trays this time) and with heat of around 150 C (300F), put them back in the oven and let the surface dry for maybe 10 minutes, then turn and do the other side.

I will often turn the oven off and leave the biscotti there to harden.

When completely dry and hard, pack in airtight containers.

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