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Angela D’Urso: Biscotti, as you like it

Angela D’Urso

Biscotti: crunchy, nutty and sweet. They never fail to please. Almond biscotti are the most popular and traditional, but biscotti can have all sorts of fruits, spices and nuts added to them to make them appealing to every palate.

Some of my favorite combinations are cinnamon walnut, dark chocolate cranberry and pistachio apricot. The recipe I would like to share with you is a vanilla biscotti. With this recipe you may add any flavors to create your own flavor combination depending on what you desire or simply what ingredients you have in your pantry.

Biscotti dough is made just like any basic cookie dough, using a mixer and a paddle. The difference with making these cookies is in the baking because they are baked twice, hence their name: bis, meaning twice, and cotti, meaning cooked. The biscotti are first baked in logs and then are sliced at a diagonal and placed back in the oven to bake a second time to toast and become a beautiful golden brown color. The dough can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Brushing the biscotti logs with egg wash is a quick trick to giving your biscotti a nice sheen.

BISCOTTTI

4 ounces unsalted butter

14 ounces granulated sugar

5 whole eggs

3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

1 pound 2 ounces flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Place room temperature butter and granulated sugar in a mixer bowl with a paddle and cream on medium high speed until light and fluffy.

Put mixer speed on low and add eggs one at a time. At this time the mixture will seem curdled, but that is fine.

Take bowl off the mixer and scrape it well. Add vanilla extract and sift flour and baking powder in the bowl and place back on the mixer.

Mix on low until flour is evenly incorporated.

At this time you may add any chopped nuts, chocolate chips or fruit that you desire and mix on low in the mixer just until incorporated.

Divide the batter and wrap in plastic wrap, forming logs.

Place in refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking sheet.

Place the biscotti log in the center of the baking sheet and press lightly on the log with the palm of your hand flattening the log.

Brush the biscotti with egg wash. (Egg wash is simply one egg and a tablespoon of water whisked together.)

Place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cookie log bounces back firm when pressing it.

Let the log cool for 5 minutes and slice the log at a diagonal with a serrated knife. Place cookies lying flat back on the baking sheet.

Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. 

Herald News contributor and pastry chef Angela D’Urso co-owns Sweet Creations, 609 Davol St., Fall River, Mass., with her husband, Paolo. For more information, see www.scdesserts.com.