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Biscotti


tejon
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I thought I'd bump this topic up to see what everyone's thoughts are on biscotti of late. I got Giuseppe Orsini's new book Italian Baking Secrets and tried an altered version of his maple pecan biscotti. He features nearly 30 recipes, some with butter, some without. I prefer them without, and my favorite ready made ones are from Gilda's. Hers don't have butter, and she coats them in sugar. She also makes them flatter so they're more about the outside crackle than the inside. Her fig and lemon are to die for.

I was trying to make my maple pecan in the flat style, but they still came out tall so when sliced thinly they're more about the cross section on the side. The flavor of them alone is just so so, we'll see what dunking brings later on today.

The book overall is intersting, I like the picture of cannoli on the cover.

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

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I hope I'm not off topic but what are biscotti?

I'm Italian and biscotti (for us Italians at least) is just the general term for biscuits and cookies. You're clearly talking about some specific kind of biscuit/cookie here. From the baking description I would immagine they're variations of the cokies called tozzetti/anicini/cantuccini/etc (wine cookies if you like) which in one form or another are found everywhere in Italy. Am I right, or are they something else still?

Yes, biscotti are cantucci or tozzetti. The word is used in English I think exclusively for this type of biscotto, not as a general word for Italian cookies, I don't know since when. The singular, biscotto, is virtually lost in English.

Maureen B. Fant
www.maureenbfant.com

www.elifanttours.com

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There's a killer recipe in "Baking: From My Home To Yours"

by Dorie Greenspan. It's a chocolate biscotti and is loaded with almonds and is extremely easy to make - fool proof! ooh and perfect to dunk too!

Not sure if I'm allowed to post the recipe - copy right and all?

Edited by Mariam (log)

so much to do so little time!

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I will have to try Dorie's recipe. I made the Chocolate Hazelnut biscotti from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook over the weekend and was a bit disappointed. They were too sweet (and I never say that!) and the chocolate flavor wasn't that rich. I prefer David Leibovitz's recipe that is on the Scharffen Berger web site. That has more cocoa and less sugar.

I've been shaping the logs on individual pieces of waxed paper or parchment and then flipping them on to the baking sheet. Makes it easier to deal with the sticky dough.

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I don't make or eat biscotti all that often so I probably don't qualify as knowing what a good one is but I really like the orange walnut biscotti from In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs. I don't remember who did them, I haven't had that book out in years, but they were always very popular with anyone I shared them with as well.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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  • 6 months later...

I'm bumping this thread up in the hopes someone has a recipe I'm searching for. A friend's mother, a lovely 91-year-old Sicilian, made the dreamiest anise biscotti. They had a less dense texture and came apart more readily than the standard biscotto. Recipes for hard dippers seem to be the norm, but I really enjoy the ones with a more delicate crumb.

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They are a David Rosengarten recipe and actually pretty low in fat, with amazing flavor from the rosemary.  I've got some drying in the kitchen now, so I think I might just whip up a new batch....

I just made these today, and this is an excellent recipe--I think the rosemary is very interesting in a sweet --still very rich, even though they are butterless!

I used walnuts instead of cashews, not having any, and I used way less--a handful of walnuts, only--I'm not a huge nuts in things fan.

Zoe

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  • 1 year later...

another bump on this to add that king arthur's cookie companion has wonderful "traditional italian" and "american" style biscotti. i've made 3 batches -- all wonderful the italian ones are very crunchy (no butter) and the american ones are adored by my kids. and the most interesting addition to the batter is nut flour (not as a substitute, but as an addition). it really improves the crumb and flavor of the american (i.e., butter added) biscotti -- turning it into almost a "sandie" type of cookie, but with more heft. and i like sneaking in nuts b/c if my kids see a whole nut, they'll shriek -- "no nuts!"

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  • 1 year later...

Tried the biscotti that Nick Malgieri, in his book Cookies Unlimited, calls the "ideal biscotti recipe": Buttery Anisette Biscotti. These contain butter, so although they are dry and crispy, you don't have to dunk if you don't want to. The flavor of these is etheral- vanilla, almond, butter and anisette combine to create a sweet, floral quality that is unusual. I used Sambuca for the anisette, but it stayed in the background, you might not guess it was there if you didn't know. Great with coffee, despite their delicacy.

Editing to say, sorry for the poor photo quality!

Buttery Anisette Biscotti.jpg

Edited by LovesGenoise (log)
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Biscottis are holiday-gifting life savers. I absolutely love them because I'll make several batches in advance and have them on hand for impromptu guests, hostess gifts, etc and they won't spoil.

I make mine extra-dry and hard, for dunking in *ahem* boozy eggnog.... The recipes I've been using never seem to dry out as much as I like, so I'll turn off the oven and leave them in for an additional 45-60 mins after the second bake.

Last yr's biscotti list was fig anise, coconut & lime, toffee pecan, and almond. Would like to try a gingerbread-type flavour this yr, if anyone has a recipe to share.

Does anyone have any slicing tips? I want to make each biscotti thinner, but they usually crumble if I slice any less than 3/4 inch thick.

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Biscottis are holiday-gifting life savers. I absolutely love them because I'll make several batches in advance and have them on hand for impromptu guests, hostess gifts, etc and they won't spoil.

I make mine extra-dry and hard, for dunking in *ahem* boozy eggnog.... The recipes I've been using never seem to dry out as much as I like, so I'll turn off the oven and leave them in for an additional 45-60 mins after the second bake.

Last yr's biscotti list was fig anise, coconut & lime, toffee pecan, and almond. Would like to try a gingerbread-type flavour this yr, if anyone has a recipe to share.

Does anyone have any slicing tips? I want to make each biscotti thinner, but they usually crumble if I slice any less than 3/4 inch thick.

Are you using recipes with butter in them? That makes them more tender and more crumbly and are not intended to be extra dry. You might want to look for more traditional ones with eggs only, although those recipes are usually more limited in flavors.

Edited by rickster (log)
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Does anyone have any slicing tips? I want to make each biscotti thinner, but they usually crumble if I slice any less than 3/4 inch thick.

I use an electric knife to cut them after the first baking, and can easily slice them to 1/4 inch or thinner.

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