The word "biscotti" has a very specific meaning. From the Latin biscoctus, it translates to "twice-cooked/baked"– and that's exactly what happens to these nutty, chocolate-dipped cookies. First the dough is baked as a long log. Then, once it has been taken out of the oven and allowed to coo a little, it's sliced into pieces and rebaked until dry. Centuries ago, this process allowed food to last longer. Now its primary purpose is to render cookies that are flavorful, crunchy, and perfect to pair with coffee, tea, or milk.
1 cup blanched almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast almonds for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs and extracts together. With a hand mixer combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until blended. Gradually add the egg mixture and beat until a dough forms, adding almonds about halfway through.
3. On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a log about 14 inches long and 4 inches wide. Transfer log to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, or until firm to the touch (log will spread during baking). Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
4. Transfer log to a cutting board and using a serrated knife cut log into slices 1/2 inch thick. Arrange evenly on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake another 10 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
5. Melt about 3 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Dip one end of each biscotti in the melted chocolate and let dry on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Note: Can substitute hazelnuts or walnuts for the almonds. If desired, add 1 tablespoon of orange or lemon zest to the egg mixture.