My friend Joanne was an accomplished baker. She was infamous for her brownies and her holiday chocolate biscotti. Not only were Jo’s chocolate hazelnut biscotti perfectly delicious, but they were always packaged with great style and glamour much like their creator.
Some people think that biscotti originated in the Tuscan region of Italy, but they were actually created a few centuries earlier in Rome. The word biscotto is derived from the Latin ‘bis’ for ‘twice’ and ‘coctum’ or ‘baked’ which would soon be adapted to ‘cotto’ meaning ‘cooked’. Biscotti are oblong, twice-baked biscuits. They pair well with tea or coffee or dessert wines.Vin Santo, or Vino Santo, a smooth, sweet dessert wine made predominantly in the Tuscan region of Italy is traditionally served with biscotti.
While biscotti today is often enjoyed with a coffee or espresso, many Italians still find the sweet wine pairing the ultimate ending to a meal or a perfect treat to while away the afternoon at a cafe.
The biscotti dough is made with flour, sugar, and eggs. In this case, because we are making chocolate biscotti, the dough is enriched with cocoa and chocolate chips. There are so many different types of biscotti. Almond biscotti, chocolate hazelnut, chocolate pistachio, chocolate-dipped biscotti, white chocolate biscotti, orange and lemon biscotti, and the list goes on. There are endless possibilities of flavor combinations you can use to fold into your biscotti dough to create this delicate dipping biscuit.
For the first baking, the dough is shaped into 2 logs and baked until firm. After the biscotti logs cool, they are sliced and placed on a sheet pan and returned to the oven until they are dry and firm. Biscotti will keep for a couple of weeks when properly stored which makes them a good choice for gift giving.
Thank you Joanne for introducing us to your biscotti and sharing this treasured recipe with us. We miss you but you live on in our kitchens and in our hearts! Check out more of my holiday cookie recipes here.