In Italy cookies are called “biscotti”. But whenever we think of biscotti, the image of some long and crunchy cookies jumps up into our minds. “Biscotti” is a common term in Italy, which is used for any kinds of cookies. But the cookies which are popularly known as biscotti are actually called “cantuccini” or “biscotti di Prato” in Italy.
Cantuccini or biscotti are oblong shaped cookies, which are very crunchy and are traditionally cooked with nuts. But nowadays, many other ingredients like chocolate chips, dried cranberries or dried cherries are also used.
Difficulty level: Easy
Yields per recipe: 22-25
Preparation time required: 30-40 minutes
Cooking time required: 40-50 minutes
1 standing or handheld electric mixer
1 large mixing bowl
1 cookie sheet
1 parchment paper
1 serrated knife
1 large bowl
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ cup of dried cranberries, chopped
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup of white granulated sugar
½ teaspoon of orange zest
½ cup of pistachios, chopped
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1/5th teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Method of Preparation
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position the oven rack to the top of the oven. Once done, take a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper. Now take a large mixing bowl and a sieve. Put half of the flour, salt and the baking powder into the sieve and then sift the mixture though the sieve.
Once done, sift the rest of the flour into the bowl and then stir the mixture to combine everything nicely. Then take another small bowl and put 1/4th cup of the flour mixture into that bowl. Add the lemon zest to the 1/4th cup of flour mixture and then combine both the ingredients by breaking apart the zest particles by crushing them with your fingers.
2. Once the orange zest gets incorporated into the flour mixture, dump the mixture into the large bowl of flour and then add the dried cranberries and the pistachio pieces. Toss and stir all the things together to combine and then set aside the bowl. Next, take a standing mixer and attach a mixing bowl and a paddle attachment to it. Put the oil, vanilla extracts and the orange juice into the bowl of the electric mixer. Then crack open the eggs and transfer their contents to the bowl.
3. Whisk the mixture on medium low speed until all the wet ingredients are thoroughly combined. Once thoroughly blended, add-in the dry ingredients mixture a little at a time and beat the mixture until the added amount of the flour mixture gets completely moistened.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl to collect the excess batter and to incorporate the entire flour mixture into the batter. Once the mixture turns into sticky dough, remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and set it aside.
4. Now spread ½-1 cup of flour on your working table and put the dough on it. Knead the dough lightly, just to make it non-sticky and then cut the dough into 3-4 equal sized pieces. Spread some more flour on your working table and then roll out one of the dough pieces into a 12-inch long rope.
Once done, transfer the dough rope to the prepared cookie sheet and then roll out the other pieces one by one in the same way. Maintain some distance in between each dough rope to give them space to expand while baking.
5. Once done, tap the top of the ropes with your finger to flatten them and to make them 1 ½ – 2 inch wide. Then pop the cookie sheet into the preheated oven to bake the biscotti ropes for 25 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheets after 12-13 minutes and let the biscotti ropes bake for another 12-13 minutes. This helps to bake the biscotti ropes evenly. Once done, take out the cookie sheet from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool down the biscotti ropes a bit.
6. Once the biscotti ropes are cooled enough to handle take them off the cookie sheet and then cut them at a very sharp angle, by holding the knife at an angle of about 80 degrees.
Once you have cut out the biscotti from the dough ropes, place them on the same cookie sheet and then place back the cookie sheet into the oven. Turn down the heat of the oven and set it on 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Bake the biscotti for 8-10 minutes more and then take out the cookie sheet from the oven. Place the cookie sheet on a wire rack and then flip the biscotti. Pop the cookie sheet once again into the oven by rotating it and then bake the biscotti for 5-6 minutes more or until they turn golden brown on each side. Once done, take out the cookie sheet and let the biscotti cool down completely before eating them.