Biscotti are versatile and fun cookies. Even though they are designed for dunking, they are still good on their own. I always include one type of biscotti in the Christmas cookie boxes that I make every year for friends and family. Biscotti travel well, and they remain fresh and crisp for at long time.
I was so happy when I found out that Domenica Marchetti was writing a book that focused solely on biscotti. There are recipes for classic flavors of biscotti, chocolate and spice, fruit, fantasy flavors, and savory flavors. There is even a chapter with other types of cookies such as nutella sandwich cookies and pistachio amaretti, among others.
The book is full of gorgeous photographs and fun designs. I’m in love with the recipes, and with the fun and colorful design . I want to meet the book’s designer and give her a hug. When you look at the pages, you feel uplifted, energized, and ready to make biscotti!
If you are not a baker, don’t feel intimidated. Domenica’s words will guide you step by step, until you are holding aromatic and crisp biscotti in your hands.
The first recipe that jumped out at me was this iced triple lemon biscotti. I’m not a big fan of chocolate, and I almost always prefer citrus flavored desserts over any other flavors. I’ve made these a few times, and they are always a huge hit. I’m completely obsessed with these. Okay, I do confess I’ve also made the Browned Butter and Toblerone biscotti, which are equally delicious.
Just a few recommendations: swap out the almonds for pistachios. I just love pistachios and lemon together. Also, make sure you use a good brand of lemon extract. You don’t want to use something that is cheaper of lesser quality that tastes synthetic.
Makes 24 to 26 biscotti
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- finely grated zest of 2 organic lemons plus 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed juice
- 1 cup sliced toasted almonds (I substituted toasted pistachios)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- a few drops of half and half or milk as needed
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat an 11 by 17 inch rimmed baking sheet with the oil.
- Combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix briefly on low speed. Add the lemon zest and almonds and mix briefly on low to combine. Add the butter in pieces and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture looks like damp sand. Pour in the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of the lemon extract and mix on medium speed until a soft, slightly sticky dough has formed.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a disk. Divide it in half. Lightly moisten your hands with water and gently roll one portion of dough into a rough oval. Place it lengthwise on one half of the baking sheet and use your hands and fingers to stretch and pat the dough into a log about 2 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Shape the second piece of dough in the same way, moistening your hands as necessary. Press down on the logs to flatten them out a bit and make the tops even.
- Bake the logs for 25 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and just set—they should be springy to the touch and there should be cracks on the surface. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Gently slide an offset spatula under each log to loosen it from the baking sheet. Let the logs cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer them to the rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325F.
- Transfer the cooled logs to a cutting board and, using a Santoku knife or a serrated bread knife, cut them on the diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Arrange the slices, cut-side up, on the baking sheet (in batches if necessary) and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for another 10 minutes, until they are crisp. Transfer the slices to the rack to cool completely.
- Place the rack over a rimmed baking sheet or a sheet of wax paper. Arrange the slices upright on the rack. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar with the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract until the icing is smooth and opaque, but still thin enough to fall from the tip of the whisk in a ribbon. If necessary, dribble in a few drops of half-and-half to loosen the icing.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Ciao Biscotti for review purposes. I was not compensated for writing this post. All views are my own.