Perfect for dipping into dessert wine or a rich espresso, these crunchy Italian treats make for the perfect evening aperitif or mid-morning snack. The name, biscotti originates for the Italian ‘twice baked’ yet these small biscuits are fast, easy to make and keep well. The dough is baked to just golden in the shape of a a log, then cut up into inch-thick slices and baked again so they dry and crisp up. On of the reasons I love them is the ability to tailor them to your specific taste as they lend themselves to so many flavourings (so long as they dip nicely into your tea or coffee!). I baked these for my mum so it had to be walnuts, but there are a variety of recipe ideas on the internet as well as ways to decorate them such as half dipping in melted chocolate or drizzled with icing sugar.
- 250g plain flour
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 100g broken walnut pieces
- First preheat the oven to 180C fan/gas mark 5 and line a baking sheet with grease proof paper. If you don’t entirely trust your paper, sprinkle it with some extra flour too.
- Next the prep step: combine the flour, baking powder and baking powder in a bowl. Break the walnuts into small pieces. In a seperate bowl or jug, lightly whisk the eggs and add the vanilla essence.
- Add the wet into the dry ingredients which requires a kneading motion, similar to making bread due to the dryness of the dough. When fully combined you should have a very sticky mixture. Now knead in the walnuts until they are evenly distributed.
- Flour the worksurface and turn out the dough to form a ball, then cut into halves. Each half can then be shaped into a 4cm diameter sausage on the baking sheet. Press down lightly to form two flat-topped logs.
- Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until just coloured then remove and carefully cut into inch thick slices on the diagonal with a bread knife.
- Place of their sides and bake for another 7 minutes on each side.