Thursday, November 24, 2011

Buttery Hazelnut-Fig Biscotti

Twice-baked cookies known as biscotti originated in the Italian city of Prato. During my travels through Italy I had the opportunity to sample different varieties of these hard cookies. The traditional recipe included pine nuts and almonds, however, there are many different versions today using different nuts, dried fruit and spices. In Tuscany these little cookies are referred to as "cantuccini" and are traditionally served with vin santo. Since the biscotti are hard, they are usually accompanied by a drink (vin santo, cappuccino, latte or tea).

I have collected quite a few biscotti recipes, but the following is one of my favorite. It is slightly adapted from the October 2011 issue of Food and Wine:

Ingredients:

2 cups hazelnuts
14 ounces figs
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 12-14 minutes in the middle of the oven. Let cool, then transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub off as much of the skins as possible. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and chop coarsely.



2. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, cover the figs with water and microwave at high power for 1 minute, just until the figs are plump. Drain well, trim off the stem ends and slice the figs 1/8 inch thick.


3. In a bowl beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed until combined. Beat in the eggs. Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt in another bowl and add to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Add the nuts and figs.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to a work surface and roll into six 10-by-1 1/2-inch logs. Arrange the logs on the baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and firm. Let the logs cool for 15 minutes.

4. On a work surface slice the logs with a serrated knife on the diagonal 2/3 inch thick. Arrange the biscotti cut sides up on the baking sheets and bake for about 9 minutes. Turn over and bake for another 9 minutes until lightly browned. Let the biscotti cool, then serve or store.

I store mine in an old metal cookie tin lined with parchment paper. They are best eaten within 10 days.



2 comments:

  1. Ich nehme mal an, dass du ganz toll Deutsch sprichst:-) ...
    Es duftet bei Dir wunderbar, herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Start. Die Stempel aus Usbekistan sind so einmalig schön, dass ich am liebsten hinreisen würde. Gerade habe ich wunderbare Model in einer Blaudruckwerkstatt in Erfurt gesehen, das war auch so herrlich.
    Alles Gute,
    ich schaue bestimmt bei Dir vorbei,
    Angelika

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    1. Hallo Angelika,

      freut mich, dass dir der Post gefaellt. Ich hoffe, dass du oefters einmal vorbeischaust.
      Susanne

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