Biscotti are twice-baked Italiany cookies. The double dose of oven time makes them less perishable than their moist relatives, the once-baked cookies. In this case dry and crunchy are desirable traits.
There are lots of variations for biscotti but I wanted to make one that featured almonds since that’s a traditional ingredient. We also just happened to have some crystallized ginger in the cupboard so when I stumbled upon a recipe that utilized both on Epicurious it seemed like a no-brainer.
Ginger Almond Biscotti
adapted from Gourmet’s (July 1999) Ginger Almond Biscotti on Epicurious
3/4 cup whole almonds with skins
1/2 cup crystallized ginger
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (125g)
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter cooking tray and line bottom with wax paper.
2. Toast almonds on a baking tray in middle of oven until they turn a little darker, about 10 minutes.
3. Cool nuts and coarsely chop. Finely chop crystallized ginger. (We used a food processor for both of these.)
4. Combine flour, sugar, ground ginger, salt, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.
5. In another bowl, beat together whole egg, egg white, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Stir in flour mixture and beat until well combined. Stir in almonds and crystallized ginger.
6. Form your cookie on a baking sheet and bake in middle of oven until pale golden, about 45 minutes.
7. Turn the cookie out onto a rack and cool 10 minutes.
8. On a cutting board with a serrated knife cut the cookie into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange biscotti on a baking sheet and bake in middle of oven until crisp, about 15 minutes. Cool biscotti on a rack.
Originally the whole point of biscotti was that they didn’t go bad and could be stored for a long time. We keep ours in an air-tight container and will probably eat them all before it’s an issue. I don’t know if they even can go bad—you just dunk them in your coffee for a little bit longer.
Eat like a Roman soldier,
– One of our readers suggested making biscotti (thanks Joe). We encourage suggestions—it’s a good way for us to try something we might not of thought of otherwise.
– We made a free-form cookie but you could use all sorts of different size and shaped pans with similar results—just slice the cookie into manageable pieces before the second bake.
– I’ve been really enjoying biscotti with my coffee—a great excuse to eat cookies at another time of the day—but in Italy they are also served with a dessert wine called Vin Santo.
– This was so easy to make, seriously.
– The only “difficult” part was cutting the giant cookie into smaller pieces before the second bake (but I’m sure you can handle that, right?) We tried a few different methods with a few different knives. I think the best way to keep it from crumbling is to score the entire piece with a serrated knife and then use a chef’s knife to quickly cut through. Also, if you let the cookie cool longer than 10 minutes it may be more difficult to cut.