Friday, December 7, 2012

Barefoot Biscotti

Biscotti. Twice baked cookies. Originally from Italy, and dating back to Medieval times. Twice baked made it fairly imperishable. One person even claimed biscotti could last for centuries.

In a way it has. Centuries later, it is now sold by everyone from Starbucks to Olive Garden to Meijer.

There is even a Bernadette's Biscotti brand. (which is cool, because that is my name-when I'm not writing a blog.)

The first time I had biscotti was when the BFF made me a great coffee themed gift package for my birthday or something. It was amazing.

I am actually surprised that I like it so much. I like my sweets to be sweet. Over the top rich, you know? But there is something about biscotti that speaks my love language-food.

I am a cookie dunker. This is the perfect hard cookie to dunk. Into coffee or tea. Or if you live in Italy or Spain, you just may dunk it in vino.

Chicken pot and biscotti jar
I collect ceramic pitchers for my kitchen. The second piece in my collection was a Tuscany looking biscotti jar. It was a win-win-win situation. 75% off after Christmas, filled with chocolate dipped biscotti, packaged in a gorgeous jar. Be still my beating heart.

My first attempt at still life painting. Not the best photo of me or the best painting, ever. But, I tried.
Biscotti is much easier to make than painting still life of a biscotti jar. I enjoy making it for gifts. It packages up really nice in clear plastic wrap or baggies, and tied with a pretty ribbon. Tuck it in a coffee mug with one of those one pot of coffee packets, and voila', the perfect gift for a coffee lover.

Biscotti is traditionally made with almonds, but my recipe uses walnuts. I think the important factor is nuts. Of whatever kind. Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios. You get the picture.

Toasted Walnut Biscotti
2 cup flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup walnuts-toasted and chopped (350 degrees for 8 minutes)
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 Tbsp shortening

-Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. And flour, baking powder and salt, and mix well. Stir in walnuts.
-Divide dough into half. Shape into 2 1-1/2" logs.
-Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (not too close together), and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
-Cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Slice into 1/2" slices diagonally. Lay cut side up on parchment lined cookie sheet.
-Bake 20-25 minutes until golden and crisp.
-When biscotti are cooled, melt the chocolate. Dip the edge into the chocolate. Let chocolate set, then package.
-Makes about 3 dozen and the recipe doubles well.

Maybe I should have some Bernadette's Biscotti with some Barefoot Wine...
Are there any brands that share your name? Tell me in the comments.