Here’s another holiday recipe from MSBH for the masses. The biscotti recipes in the MSBH are the best I’ve ever found. They always come out perfectly – the dough is smooth and moist and easy to form, the biscotti puffs up and turns a golden light brown, and after the second bake the cookies are dry and crisp but still a little tender on the inside. They freeze really well. And of course, they’re custom-made for dunking in coffee or tea.
Whenever I make biscotti, I have to say the word “biscotti” over and over just like Giada De Laurentiis does like an official Italian and everything. “Bee-SCOH-tee!” And just like her, I shrug my shoulders and grin and open my eyes really wide like I just discovered cold-fusion when I say it. Bee-SCOH-tee! Giada de Laurentiis is a national treasure.
The biscotti dough is made with a pretty straightforward method of creaming your butter and sugar, adding eggs and vanilla, mixing in the flour and then stirring in the nuts and berries.
The resulting dough is very smooth and holds together well which is important because you shape it with your hands.
The dough is halved in order to shape two 16 x 2 inch logs.
The logs go onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and are brushed with an egg wash on top.
The MSBH suggests sprinkling the tops then with sugar, but I used finely chopped pistachios instead.
If you don’t top the biscotti with anything, it will simply bake up very smooth on top, maybe with a few cracks. The topping really does make the cookie more interesting.
Once baked, the biscotti logs are very firm. You should be able to pick them up and they’ll stay together.
Using a serated knife, the biscotti are sliced into the individual cookies. You can make them as long or as short as you’d like, depending on the angle at which you cut them.
They are very soft in the middle at this point and need to be put in the oven for the second bake to dry them out. They go onto a wire rack set inside a baking sheet and go into a 300-degree over until they’re dry (but not too dry).
I really like the way the tops look with the pistachios pieces.