Once upon a time you had to go to Italy for biscotti. Thankfully, those days are long gone, and today these iconic cookies can be found in neighborhood coffee shops and restaurants everywhere. But who wouldn’t agree that homemade is always better than store-bought? With a copy of Ciao Biscotti, Domenica Marchetti’s newest book in hand, you’ll find yourself turning out batch after batch of these twice-baked delights in your own kitchen.
This charming volume, with beautiful photographs by Antonis Achilleos, is packed with tips on technique and ingredients, and clear recipes make the baking easy. Classic flavors like almond, hazelnut, and anise are here, as are honey, olive oil, pistachio, walnut, and citrus. There are chocolate flecked cookies too, and dried fruit if that is your pleasure. There are even giant size Cappucino Dunkers.
Ms. Marchetti also ventures to the savory side. With creations like Mountain Gorgonzola and Walnut, Almond and Aged Asiago, and Crispy Pancetta, these flavor packed cookies are ideal for snacking, hors d’oeuvres or with antipasti. This little book is the welcome addition to any cook’s bookshelf and would make a perfect hostess gift at Easter. For a taste of Ciao Biscotti, try Glassato al Limone. Buttery, packed with lemon flavor, and twice-baked to a toothsome crispness, these cookies are a perfect introduction to this wonderful volume.
Iced Triple Lemon – Glassato al Limone
• 1 Tbsp vegetable oil • 2 ¼ cups/285 g unbleached all-purpose flour • ½ cup/100 g granulated sugar • ¼ cup/50 g firmly packed light brown sugar • 1 tsp baking powder • ½ tsp fine sea salt • Finely grated zest of 2 organic lemons, plus 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed juice • 1 cup/80 g sliced almonds, toasted • 8 Tbsp/115 g unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, cut into ½-in/12-mm pieces • 1 ¼ tsp pure lemon extract • 1 cup/100 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted • A few drops of half-and-half or milk, as needed Makes 24 to 26 biscotti Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Lightly coat an 11-by-17-in/28- by-43-cm 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 “Ciao Biscotti”the newest book from food writer Domenica Marchetti speed until the mixture looks like damp sand. Pour in the eggs, 1 Tbsp of the lemon juice, and 1 tsp 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 ½ in/6 cm wide and 12 in/30 cm 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 325°F/165°C. Transfer the cooled logs to a cutting board and, using a Santoku knife or a serrated bread knife, cut them on the diagonal into ¾-in-/2-cm-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 confectioners’ sugar with the remaining 2 Tbsp lemon juice and ¼ tsp 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 halfand-half to loosen the icing. Dip the tip of the whisk or a fork into the icing and drizzle the ribbon of icing back and forth over the biscotti. Let the icing dry completely before serving. The biscotti will keep for up to 10 days in an airtight container stored at room temperature. What to drink: A small glass of Strega, a saffron-tinged herbal liqueur from Italy’s Campania region; or, for something more conventional, a glass of limoncello.
Recipe reprinted from Ciao Biscotti by Domenica Marchetti, published by Chronicle Books Questions? Email me at adri@AdriBarrCrocetti.com or visit AdriBarrCrocetti.com