A lot of people seem to think that Biscotti are some exotic thing to make. In our house it is actually one of the more frequently baked goods. I thought I would share my recipe and provide some pointers for those less comfortable in the kitchen. This recipe is based on the one provided over on Espresso, My Espresso
1c (240ml) sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla
2 tsp (10ml) baking powder
pinch of salt
2 cups (480ml) flour
1 cup (240ml) of nuts, chocolate chips or whatever sounds good to add to a biscotti
Preheat the oven to 375f (190c)
Cream the eggs and the sugar.
Add the oil and whisk until smooth.
Add vanilla, baking powder & salt and whisk in.
Stir in 2 cups of flour
Add in nuts/chocolate chips or whatever your add in is. The dough should sticky but not so much that you get large globs of dough stuck to you. If it is overly sticky put a light dusting of flour on the dough and mix it in and see if it is now just sticky (a little dough sticking to your hands.)
Oil a cookie sheet or use parchment paper.
On the prepared cookie sheet make 3 loaves. Squish them down to be as wide as you want your biscotti long.
Bake for 20 minutes. When they come out they should be lightly golden brown.
Let the loaves cool for a few minutes until they are touchable.
Turn the oven down to 325f (163c)
Slice the loaves into individual cookies (about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in width - thinner cookies are crunchier, wider makes for chewier insides.) and put the cookies on their side (cut side down) Put them back in the oven and cook 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
If you went and looked at the recipe this was taken from you'll see they cream the oil and then add the eggs. This also works, it make a coarser biscotti. I like the biscotti a little lighter and by combining the sugar with the eggs you get a lighter biscotti.
Now with olive oil it is important to note that there is a great variation in the taste of olive oil. Before you add the olive oil give it a smell. That smell will come out (in much subtler form) as a taste in the biscotti. Depending on what olive oil we have in the house I may actually do a 50/50 blend of olive oil with canola oil to lighten the taste. Feel free to experiment with the oil used.
I know a lot of recipes talk about the importance of sifting the flour before using it. I used to meticulously sift and measure flour for each recipe that I made. I have since discovered that this meticulous precision is not required. Sifting flour does not make a significant difference, so don't sweat it.
As for the tools used in making the recipe, I use a whisk and spoon. The whisk is nice because it mixes the ingredients well. As a general note, if you are making a recipe that has you combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately a whisk is great for mixing the dry ingredients. (Just be sure the whisk is dry if you are using it in dry ingredients.) For the biscotti I whisk in all the ingredients that I can (everything before the flour) and then I switch to a spoon for adding the last ingredients as you are making a cookie dough and it will get too thick for the whisk.
For the add ins, you really can use anything you like. Sometimes I'll use rolled oats as an add in for a more substantial cookie, but other add ins that I've used include candied ginger, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, various nuts. So feel free to experiment.