Thursday, 14 June 2012

Biscotti di Prato - Twice Baked Cookies

Today's recipe has ancient origins dating back to Roman times.  Today we are baking Biscotti.






According to Wikipedia: Biscotti is the plural form of biscotto. The word originates from the medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning 'twice-cooked/baked.  It defined oven baked goods that were baked twice, so they were very dry and could be stored for long periods of time. Such nonperishable food was particularly useful during journeys and wars.  Twice baked breads were a staple food of the Roman Legions.


Well, who knew?  I thought Biscotti were just crunchy, little, almond cookies you could dunk into your Italian coffee!  If you want to make a little piece of history you will need the following ingredients:






1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups plain flour - sifted
3/4 cup sliced almonds


Cream together the sugar, butter and vanilla.  Stir in the eggs.  Sift together the flour and baking soda and beat into the creamed mixture.  Carefully fold in the slice almonds.    Refrigerate this dough for about 30 minutes or until it has firmed up a bit. 

Take a piece of clingfilm and place one half of the dough in the middle.  Roll the dough up and form a long sausage shape about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Twist the ends of the clingfilm and tuck under the dough to retain the log shape.  Repeat with the second half of the dough.  Refrigerate the dough logs for an hour or overnight.  


To Bake the Biscotti:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C.  Use two baking sheets, place a roll of dough in the middle of each baking sheet. You can sprinkle over a few extra almond slivers if you like.






Bake for 20-30 minutes, until risen and lightly golden.  Remove from the oven and cool sightly.  Slice each roll into 1/2 inch thick cookies.  Lay the slices, cut side down and return to the oven.








Bake until the slices are crispy and golden, approximately 15 minutes.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container.   


That's it, Biscotti good enough for an Italian coffee bar.  Mangia bene, vivi felice!

2 comments:

  1. I don't think I had ever given it any thought before about how biscotti is made, I guess I just thought they were cooked on a low heat for a long time. How wrong I was, what a great historical insight into the baking of biscotti - wonderful write up.

    Angela

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    Replies
    1. Oh Thank you, Angela! I hope you give the recipe a try. It's a great store cupboard recipe.... simple and tasty!

      Debs

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