Archive for: biscotti
I was always a fan of the Caramel Macciato Biscotti from Starbucks. They were inexpensive (less than $1) and made a great snack with a cup of coffee. I also really liked their unusual two-tone look. These cookies were recently discontinued by the coffee company in favor of some more traditional looking biscotti, so I decided make up a batch of two tone biscotti myself as a nod to them – and so I could have some freshly baked biscotti with my coffee at home!
These biscotti have two layers, one coffee flavored and one vanilla flavored. To get the two layered effect in my biscotti, I made up one big batch of dough and added a homemade coffee extract to a portion of the dough. The coffee extract is made by dissolving a generous amount of instant coffee/espresso powder in hot water, to make a very concentrated and flavorful brew that is strong enough to flavor the dough. I layered the vanilla dough on top of the coffee layer and the two baked together beautifully.
You can really taste both the vanilla and the coffee layers in the finished biscotti. These biscotti are very crunchy and are perfect for dipping in coffee, as they don’t break up too fast when they hit the hot liquid. I like a slightly thicker cookie that will soak up a lot of coffee, but you can cut these into thinner cookie crisps when slicing your dough if you prefer a more delicate cookie. The biscotti from Starbucks that inspired these have a caramel flavored coating that they are dipped in. I opted to leave these cookies plain, but they could easily be dipped in chocolate to add yet another layer of flavor to these already layered treats.
Biscotti are one of my favorite cookies to have with a cup of coffee or tea, but these Crispy Almond Thins give my usual biscotti a run for their money when it comes to being the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee. These cookies are thin and crisp, with a rectangular shape that makes them perfect for dipping. They have a good flavor of brown sugar and almonds, both of which go with most any coffee or tea, and they keep extremely well when stored in an airtight container.
Crispy Almond Thins are slice and bake cookies, meaning that the dough is shaped and chilled, then sliced into uniform pieces before baking. The dough for these cookies is fairly stiff, so it is not difficult to shape it into a rectangular log before chilling it. Use a very sharp knife to slice the cookies so that you can easily get thin slices. Thinner cookies will be crisper than thicker ones (although an extra minute in the oven usually does the trick if yours come out a little thicker), and are a little bit more addictive. I aim to get my cookies just over 1/8-inch thick when I slice them so that if they end up a little thicker, I have some wiggle room.
I like these cookies as-is, with their nice balance of almonds and brown sugar, but this is an easy cookie to dress up, too. You could try dipping them in chocolate or adding a chocolate drizzle to one side of the, or you could add some extra spice to the cookies and turn them into something similar to a gingersnap, with cinnamon and cloves.
Biscotti are one of my favorite cookies to make for a couple of reasons. They’re not too difficult to make, they keep extremely well and they always taste better than store bought. I also like being able to put my own flavor twists on biscotti, as the options when you buy them in a store are often quite limited. That isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate a good almond biscotti (probably the most popular base flavor) as much as the next person, just that I like a little variety.
These Coconut Cranberry Biscotti are one of my favorite variations. The cookies use shredded coconut in place of almonds or other nuts that are traditionally included in biscotti, and they are studded with dried cranberries that add a pop of color and sweet-tart flavor. The biscotti have a subtle coconut flavor to them, but it is not overwhelming. They’re not too sweet, so I typically use sweetened shredded coconut in my batches, though unsweetened coconut will work just as well if you tend to have that on hand.
The dough for these cookies is baked in large logs, which are cooled slightly before being sliced and baked a second time. You will need a very sharp knife – either a bread knife or a large chef’s knife – to get a clean cut on your cookies, as the cranberries can get “caught” on a dull blade. Still, the finished cookies will taste good in the end, they’ll just look a little prettier if you sharpen your knives first! The cookies, once baked, will keep very well in an airtight container for at least a week or two. Mine don’t last much longer than that – and I doubt yours will either.
One or two biscotti are a terrific compliment to a cup of coffee or a mug of tea. Just about any flavor will do, whether you like anise flavoring or you prefer your biscotti dunked in chocolate. These Orange Almond Biscotti are certainly a good option. Biscotti are twice baked cookies that are known for being dry, crisp and having a long shelf life. These biscotti are richer than most biscotti recipes and use a fair amount of butter, and so they have a more tender texture and are a little less “hard” than some other biscotti. They still go extremely well with coffee, of course, they just don’t need to be dunked into the cup to be edible.
The primary flavor in these biscotti is orange, and the flavor all comes from fresh orange zest. I used about three tablespoons of orange zest from two large oranges just to flavor the batch – and it comes through in a wonderfully fragrant batter and very flavorful cookies. Sliced almonds are added to the batter, as well, adding a very subtle almond flavor and a lot of crunch.
Dip these biscotti into some melted dark or semisweet chocolate to dress them up after baking, especially if you are planning to serve these as dessert with coffee or intend to pack them up to send off as a gift for the holidays. Chocolate and orange blend together perfectly. The biscotti keep well when stored in an airtight container, so the biscotti make a treat that will last around the house all week long, as well as one that ships well to family and friends.
When you think of biscotti, you probably picture oblong, dry, flat-sided cookies that are commonly served with coffee or tea, with desserts or at coffee shops. In Italy, the word is used to refer to any type of cookie – twice-baked or not – and in Biscotti: Recipes from the Kitchen of The American Academy in Rome, The Rome Sustainable Food Project they use the Italian definition. The book is put out by the The American Academy in Rome, the oldest American overseas center for studies in the arts and humanities.
The food for the Academy is classic Italian, made with organic, locally produced food from the area surrounding the school. The baked goods served alongside that food are prepared with the same attention to tradition and quality ingredients. But the biscotti are a signature item, available every day and a favorite of students and visitors alike. The book is dedicated to these cookies. It is divided up into five categories: Milk and Wine; Nuts; Honey, Citrus and Spice; Meringue; and Chocolate. The recipes include very traditional Italian classics and twists on American favorites, such as snickerdoodles and peanut butter cookies, as they are prepared by the Italian kitchen in the school.
The book has plenty of lovely photos of the cookies and is also peppered with snapshots of life at the Academy – literally, with photos of the campus and those who study there. The recipes are well written and most have few ingredients, something that allows their simple flavors to come through, as well as motivates you (the home baker!) to try them out sooner rather than later in your own kitchen. The more traditional recipes are the main attraction here, and each of the recipes comes with some lovely notes about the origins of the cookies or the spices that give them their signature flavor, weather you’re baking a ring-shaped anise cookie (Ciambelline Elena) or a flourless pine mut cookie (Pinolate).