Also known also as 'cantuccini', these easy to make, unleavened, finger-shaped Italian almond biscuits, taste amazing and although traditionally served with coffee are a delicious snack any time of day!
Biscotti have their origins in Roman times, the word 'Biscotti' originates from the medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning 'twice-cooked'. Foodstuffs cooked in this way were very dry and could be stored for long periods of time which was particularly useful during journeys and wars (twice baked breads were a staple food of the Roman Legions).
Traditionally flavoured with almonds, recipes have evolved to include a huge variety of additions from exotic flavours to dried fruit, chocolate, different types of nuts and seeds. In addition to that, they're also often found iced or topped with chocolate
I’ve used almonds because they're my favourites, but walnuts or hazelnuts work equally well. Eat as they are, drizzle with dark or white chocolate, dip in molten chocolate then crushed nuts, or customise with any topping that takes your fancy.
As with all our recipes, tweak according to personal preference e.g. if not sweet enough, add extra sugar, if too sweet, add a little less etc. Feel free to share your own hints, tips and recommendations in the comments section.
Makes approx. 15 biscotti
Preparation time: 30 minutes + cooling time
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Shallow baking tin or sheet (greased)
130g Plain flour
30g Cocoa powder
½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp Salt
6 tbsp Sunflower oil
100g Almonds (whole or coarsely chopped)
Icing sugar (for dusting)
½ tsp Vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F / 170°C.
2. Add the nuts and the chocolate chips, mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the oil and sugar together, once thoroughly combined, add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined thoroughly.
4. Make a ‘well’ in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour in the oil/sugar/ egg mixture. Stir the mixture until it forms a stiff dough, then with floured hands shape into a slightly flattened ‘log’ shape (approx 25cm long x 5 cm wide). Place on a lightly greased a baking sheet and dust with icing sugar.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes (this stops the log from crumbling excessively when being sliced).
6. Place the Biscotti ‘log’ on a cutting board and using a serrated edged knife, using a ‘sawing’ movement, to cut the biscotti diagonally, into 2cm slices.
7. Arrange the sliced biscotti on a baking sheet and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until crisp. I like a firm biscotti that crumbles when eaten, however if you require a harder, crunchier texture, switch the oven off, and leave the slices inside for a further 2hrs + (this can be increased according to texture preference - the longer you leave them in the oven to dry out, the crunchier they'll be).
8. Transfer biscotti to a wire rack to cool.
Keep in an airtight container for 1 week (if you’re able to resist them) or frozen for up to 1 month.
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