What is my favorite cookie of all time, you ask? (I know I should be asking you, and I will when y’all comment, but until then…) The answer is “BISCOTTI.” And, I truly don’t even care what flavor it is. I love this hard, not too sweet biscuit that can be changed and adapted to everyone’s taste.
This recipe is a little out of the norm. It takes it’s fat from egg yolks and filbert flour and it’s harder than most, but the combination of the cinnamon with both vanilla and almond extract along with the zest of both orange and lemon and the two very special tree nuts – hazelnuts (aka filberts) and pistachios just makes my mouth water. Most Italians dip this cookie in wine, allowing the cookie to soak it up, but I prefer mine with a bold cup of coffee or espresso.
In case you aren’t familiar with this Italian cookie, here’s a little bit of info:
The word biscotti comes from ‘bis’ and ‘cotto’ which means twice and baked. The cookie is formed into a log, baked, sliced and baked again so that all the moisture is driven out which gives it a long shelf life – which was perfect for travelers and soldiers during war in Roman times.
A Tuscan baker from Prato revived this cookie – called it cantucci and made it with almonds, which were plentiful in Tuscany. Vin Santo – a sweet Tuscan wine – was served alongside the cantucci – perfect for dipping. In Italy, the term biscotti now refers to any hard biscuit-type cookie and especially all the variations on the original cantucci.
Italians aren’t alone in their obsession with this type of cookie. Other cultures have their own version of the biscotti/cantucci. The Germans have Zwieback, the Jewish have Mandelbrot, British have rusks and the Greeks have Biskota and although I enjoy some of those, this biscotti is just ‘better.’
Biscotti are made in a variety of flavors and can include any variation of nuts and fruit. This version is just the beginning. I’ve got dozens of varieties in my recipe collection that I’ll share in the future.
But, for now, Mangia! Mangia!
GF Farina All Purpose Flour Blend Recipe Here