Chocolate Hazelnut, Honey Pistachio, Almond and Lemon Dipped in White Chocolate, Dried Cherry and Almond Biscotti, Biscotti alla Parmigiana, Peppermint Biscotti, Almond and Raisin, these are just a few samples of the absolutely rainbow of flavors you can get Biscotti in. All of them are the perfect accompaniment to your favorite blend of coffee or a steaming cup of relaxing tea, their double-baked crunch absorbing the myriad of flavors and softening into an expertly textured snack. Biscotti Day celebrates these wonderful treats, and reminds you to try a new flavor, or indulge in your favorite.
History of Biscotti Day
Biscotti are almond biscuits that originate in Prato Italy, they are the result of a process that leaves them delicious and crunchy, twice-baking. Their firm crispy texture is one of the reasons they’re traditionally served in Vin Santo, a sweet white dessert wine. Biscotti were the result of a process that was used to help preserve food for a long time, and thus twice-baked foods were often taken on long journeys and wars by Roman Legions. Since then they’ve been a popular part of the dietary culture of Italy, and eventually spread across the world finding a new home in coffee shops.
The cooking process starts with a barely wet dough of flour, sugar, eggs, and unskinned/unroasted almonds, without any form of yeast or fat. This dough is baked once in a slab the shape of the biscotti, and then baked again after being sliced into the signature shape known to the end customer. While the traditional recipe involves almonds, as mentioned above, they can also be made with pine nuts, walnuts, dry fruits like raisins, or just about any low-moisture ingredient you can conceive of. It’s from these origins that the humble Biscotti comes.
How to celebrate Biscotti Day
The best way to celebrate Biscotti Day is by putting together your own special recipe for Biscotti and seeing what new variation you can come up with. To that end, we provide you with a very basic recipe you can build on:
½ c Canola Oil
1 c sugar
3 ¼ cups flour (all-purpose)
1 T Baking Powder
1 T Anise Extract
Start off by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F, and grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper. Then, in a medium bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, oil, and the Anise extract until it’s blended together. Combine the baking powder and the flour and add the egg mixture until you have a heavy dough. Split it in two and make a roll the same length as your cookie sheet, press it down to ½ thickness, and place in the preheated oven. 25-30 minutes later it should turn a nice golden brown, take it out and let it rest on a wire rack. When it’s cold enough to handle cut it into ½ in thick slices and put back on the baking sheet. Then let it cook for an additional 6-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Voila, your own biscotti! You can build on this recipe by adding lemon juice, orange juice, frosting them, adding nuts or fruit, anything you can think of. Biscotti Day encourages you to be adventurous and try something new!