Breakfast and Brunch, Cookies, Dessert, Food

Espresso Nut Biscotti

Nicoletta July 21, 2015

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Crunchy, crumbly, sweet, nutty and chocolate-y biscotti, with just a hint of espresso flavor. Lip-smacking and finger-licking good.

Nutty-for-espresso-biscotti

It’s early morning and with Loreto we’re enjoying gardening in our backyard: watering, pruning, cleaning the dry/dead leaves and flowers, cutting the grass, checking on the tomatoes (still green but they’re coming). The cats are with us, on a leash as usual, and everything is so quiet. The air is fresh and crystal clear,  the birds are chirping and bathing in our fountains and bird baths; the waterfall in the pond gives the right soundtrack to our new day. We love mornings, we’re early risers, even on weekends. This morning, after my husband goes to work I am going to bake some Espresso and Nut Biscotti.

 

 

pond&waterfall

Buddha’s lagoon that just happens to be located in our backyard

On my last trip to the Public Library I found a couple more cookbooks that draw my attention. In one, The “Messy Baker” by Charmian Christie, there are many recipes worth the re-making, but I decided to start with Biscotti.

Stages of the biscotti preparation:

Their preparation is done in stages, i.e. it is quite long, but the result is worth every minute you spend making them.

Nutty-for-espresso-biscotti

The recipe calls for hazelnuts, but they’re missing from my pantry where I find, instead, almonds and walnuts. You feel free to use any nut you like. Chop them roughly and put them in the oven. You can’t believe what a beautiful smell you get in the kitchen while they’re toasting!

nutty for espresso biscotti

The batter is easy and quick, especially if using an electric mixer; few steps and it is ready to be rolled into a log then flattened and put in the oven. After about 30-35 minutes it is set for the next step. Let it cool a bit then with a serrated knife cut it diagonally, place the biscotti on one side and put them back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take them out, roll them onto their other side and place them back in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes. Every oven is different, so the cooking time may vary a bit. I usually check their color, a nice brown is what you want.

Nutty for espresso biscotti

Nutty for espresso biscotti

Let them cool on a rack before doing anything: coating them, eating them, storing them. Coating is absolutely optional. I melted in a bain-marie some semi sweet chocolate chips and drizzled the chocolate with a fork. You can dip just half of the cookie in chocolate, or use any other kind of chocolate and drizzle it with a spoon, or even dust some ground nuts onto the chocolate. Whatever works best for you. I tried drizzling with a spoon first and those big chunks of chocolate that you see in the pictures dripped from the spoon, so I decided to grab a fork 🙂 .

Nutty for espresso biscotti

The tasting time has arrived, the chocolate hasn’t fully set but I can’t wait any longer. A bite and I’m in bliss. They are incredibly good. Crunchy, crumbly, sweet, nutty and chocolatey, with just a hint of espresso flavor. Lip-smacking and finger-licking good.

Nutty for espresso biscotti

Nutty for espresso biscotti

After dinner, the best moment: a cup of Catfish Cafe a Go Go and a couple of biscotti to share with my sweet half.

Enjoy!

Nutty for espresso biscotti

P.s. Just a bit of information if it happens you’re in Italy and you’re looking for “biscotti”. “Biscotti” (plural form of “biscotto“), in modern Italian is a generic noun to intend any kind of cookies of different shapes and flavours that have common ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, eggs.  So not only and specifically the “twice baked” cookies that I made today and that are popular in the U.S and North America. The closest you can find (but they’re smaller) are “cantuccini” made with whole almonds in the city of Prato, Tuscany, from where biscotti originally derive and that they usually have at the end of a meal dipped in Vin Santo.

Recipe adapted from “The Messy Baker” by Charmian Christie.

Song of the day: “Everybody” by Ingrid Michaelson

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Nutty for espresso biscotti

Espresso Nut Biscotti

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  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: one dozen biscotti
  • Category: Sweets
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups hazelnuts (or or any othe nut)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon (or orange), the zest
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 2/3 unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/4 dark dark chocolate chips

Coating (optional)

  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside
  3. Once the oven comes up to heat, toast the nuts on an unlined baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Turn the nuts onto a cleaned tea towel and rub them to remove as much of the skin as possible. Roughly chop the nuts and set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer cream the butter, sugar and lemon (or orange) peel until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended.
  5. Into a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and espresso powder. With the mixer on low, mix the flour mixture into the batter, stirring just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and the nuts.
  6. Take the dough and place it onto a wood surface. Shape it into a log about 12″ long. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet and flatten to 1″ high. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top feels firm to the touch. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, reduc the heat to 325° F and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the log to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut diagonal slices about 1/2 ” thick. Place the cookies cut side down on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake for 5-10 more minutes or until they start to brown.Transfer to a rack to cool.
  8. For the coating: When the biscotti are cooled, gently melt the semi sweet chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl over simmering, not boiling, water. Once melted place the biscotti back in a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle the chocolate over the biscotti using a spoon or a fork. Let cool and enjoy!

Notes

Store between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container. Biscotti will keep for a couple of weeks.

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10 Comments

  • Reply karrie @ Tasty Ever After July 22, 2015 at 9:35 am

    This recipe and your pics look fabulous! Love biscotti for breakfast and can’t wait to make this 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 22, 2015 at 11:05 am

      Thanks! They were really good. Lasted 2 days. I love to dip them in my coffee or cappuccino 🙂 . Let me know when you make them!

  • Reply Jackie @ supermancooks July 30, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Oh my, do these look delicious!! They remind me so much of Italy! I used to travel to Florence frequently for work, and I would always bring my mother back some biscotti in a blue bag…. those were the days! I will have to try to make these for her. ps. your garden is amazing too!!

  • Nicoletta
    Reply Nicoletta July 30, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks Jackie! Florence is a wonderful city, isn’t it? I took Loreto last december, during our Christmas holidays in Italy. And yes, these biscotti are really good, your mother would love them. They’re a labour of love 🙂 .

  • Reply Jessi August 12, 2015 at 4:22 am

    This biscotti looks delicious!

    I’m going to give it a try this weekend!

    Here is another recipe you might like to try 🙂

    http://www.grabyourspork.com/recipes/baked-goods/cranberry-and-pistachio-biscotti-recipe/

    Jess

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta August 12, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Thank you! Let me know how they turn out. And thanks for the link, the biscotti look good!

  • Reply Mike Smith April 29, 2016 at 3:42 am

    The biscotti looks incredible – I am going to try this out for sure! Thanks a ton.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 29, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Thank you Mike for your lovely comment! They do taste amazing! Hope you get the chance to try making them and let me know.

  • Reply sastamilega.com May 14, 2017 at 4:01 am

    Awesome recipe..Gonna try this soon , Thanks for sharing

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 14, 2017 at 7:14 am

      They are awesome, hope you make them! Thank you for stopping by!

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