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April 08, 2010

Italian Biscotti from Tuscany

Italian Biscotti 

Biscotti in Italian means twice (bis) cooked (cotto).  They are cookies that are first baked into a log, then sliced and toasted.  You can find biscotti everywhere in Italy, but my favorite biscotti are the ones from Tuscany.  Whenever I’m in Tuscany, one of the first things I do is buy a bag of these to have around for snack time.  They are tooth-breaking crunchy, studded with almonds and perfect for dipping into the local sweet wine Vin Santo, holy wine. 

  

 Because these cookies, also known as cantucci, are such perfect companions with Vin Santo, they end many Tuscan meals.  My family actually loves these for breakfast and dips them in espresso instead.  Whether dipped or alone, they are crunchy, nutty and a great end, or beginning, to any meal.

  

 

Italian Biscotti and Vin Santo Wine

  

 

 

Biscotti from Tuscany

 

  

(Makes about 40 biscotti)

 

  

3 1/2 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 1/4 cups (450 grams) granulated sugar plus about 4 tablespoons

4 eggs plus 1 egg white

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

About 2 cups (9 ounces/250 grams) almonds, toasted

 

  

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

 

  

Beat together the 2 1/4 cups sugar and 4 eggs until the mixture is pale in color.  Add the honey, almond and vanilla extract and combine.  Stir in half the flour mixture, stopping just when the flour is almost all incorporated.  Stir in the remaining flour mixture just until the flour is almost incorporated and add the almonds.  Mix into the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

 

  

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease two baking sheets.

 

  

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into four equal pieces.  On a very lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a log 1 inch in width and 10-12 inches in length.  Place two logs on each baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

 

  

Remove from the oven and turn the temperature to 250ºF.  Cool for 10 minutes, then slice the logs into 1/2-inch thick cookies.  Lay the cookies flat onto the baking sheets and put back in the oven for 20 minutes to dry the cookies out.  Serve with Vin Santo or espresso.

  

Italian Biscotti and Espresso

 

  Related Posts:

 

 Cassatelle alla Siciliana

 

 Wine Tasting in Tuscany Along the Chianti Trail

 

 One Cannolo Two Cannoli

 

 Christmas Baking Memories and Snowball Cookies

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I love biscotti and this looks perfect for breakfast...I would love some right now for my coffee.

Biscotti and good coffee makes a wonderful combination for breakfast. Great post.

Well done and great pictures! I've always wanted to try a biscotti recipe. I think I'll be trying yours. Never had vin santo, let alone a biscotti dipped in it. I'm excited to try this. Thanks!

-Joe

Great pictures, thank you for sharing this recipe. I love biscotti so I will save this recipe.

Have a great and blessed day.

As always, photos are great. However, if they are tooth-breaking crunchy, they are COMPLETELY different from the biscotti my Lombardessa nonna made. Hers were just soft enough to melt in your mouth but hard enough to withstand a dip into coffee or whatever :-) I have never managed to recreate them, nor has anyone I know (yet). I will try again. I'm sure yours are wonderful, but you know how it is ... there's nothing like nonna's.

These biscotti are quite different from my Mom's. They look absolutely delicious and could go very well with coffee or any liqueur. Yummy!

I recently chipped a tooth on biscotti but dunking them in vin santo is one of my favourite ways to end a meal. it didn't occur to me to have them with a good espresso!

Just when I was going to tell Paula that my statement that these are "tooth-breaking crunchy" is an exaggeration, Gourmantic, you let us know it can actually happen. I hope all went ok with the tooth. My mom (she was Sicilian) made biscotti that were a lot less crunchy and with anise, but I actually prefer these.

This is one of the Top 10 foods you can't miss in Tuscany, unfortunately I didn't have such a great recipe and link to include in my post...I honestly looked for it! why don't you add to my post? do you want to? grazie

I am enjoying every recipe you post. You have quite a knack for recipes and verse!

Val - Thank you so much for the compliment and for reading. I really appreciate it.

Oriana - Wow, if only I had posted a few days earlier! I would love to have these cantucci included in your already awesome list of foods not to miss in Tuscany. Grazie mille!

Biscotti is such a great Italian treat. Not too sweet, just perfectly balanced. And best served with a cup of good coffee. Mmm.

Kathy your Biscotti look delicious!

I love Cantucci too, so simple and so delicious. Your photos are very nice!
(thanks for your comment, as I can see we have lots in common ;-)

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