Top | Chez Panisse Cooking
(recipe, Kim Carlson)
There are myriad types of Italian cookies known as biscotti, but few as appealing as those baked in a long, sausage-like form, cut on the diagonal, and then baked a second time to dry. These cookies have a rough charm, both crunchy and nutty, and are designed to be dipped into coffee (the Italians eat them for breakfast) or a glass of wine.
With time, these biscuits will dry out even further and become bone-hard, but the flavors still balance very nicely.
The recipe can be varied depending on what you wish to serve them with. Substitute almonds or other nuts for the walnuts or sprinkle the dough with anise seeds.
- ¾ cup walnuts
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. Cognac or brandy
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Toast the walnuts in a baking pan for 5 minutes. Let cool and chop them coarse. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
- Cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs and mix well. Add the vanilla and Cognac.
- In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture with the chopped nuts. Stir just until combined.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into cylinders about 1½ inches wide and 12 inches long. Place on a baking sheet about 2½ inches apart and bake for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Carefully remove the cylinders to a cutting board. Slice the cookies about ½ inch wide on the diagonal. Return them to the baking sheet, the cut surfaces down. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the tops are lightly brown. Let cool, then store in an airtight container.