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Walnut Biscotti

From the book Chez Panisse Cooking by and
Yield 3½ doz.

Culinate editor’s note: I flat-out love these biscotti! They are nutty, crumbly, and perfect with a cup of tea or glass of dessert wine.

Introduction

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.

Ingredients

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
tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toast the walnuts in a baking pan for 5 minutes. Let cool and chop them coarse. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs and mix well. Add the vanilla and Cognac.
  4. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture with the chopped nuts. Stir just until combined.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

This content is from the book Chez Panisse Cooking by Paul Bertolli and Alice Waters.

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100% recommend this recipe
1. by Rebecca on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:29 PM PDT

I have been making this particular biscotti recipe for at least ten years, with variations, and it is still the best in terms of taste, texture, and simplicity. I know some biscotti fanatics insist it’s not real biscotti if it has butter in it, but this is American-style biscotti and just can’t be bettered. Try it with roasted almonds and a T. of amaretto in place of the walnuts and brandy.

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