One of my favorite things about this year’s Countdown to Christmas is baking these tea desserts and sharing them with others. Today’s “Biscotti Alla Nonna Nunziata” was a fun treat because my mother-in-law taught me how my Nonna-in-law made her biscotti (of course that has involved trial and error over time since Nonna was a “pinch of this; dash of that” kind of cooker).
There are many pans you can bake biscotti in, but we chose a 2 inch deep 17×13 inch cookie sheet. Once cooked, we cut the first bake horizontally into 3 sections, about 4 inches each, and then these sections into 1/2 – 3/4 inch slices. Something I’ve never done before is a double bake. You first have to bake the biscotti as a whole and after you cut them up, bake them again. Let’s just say I’m happy I got to bake this with my mother in law instead of doing it on my own.
Traditionally biscotti is made with almond slices, but because of my allergies we used pistachios and added dried cranberries. It tasted delicious!! It was an extra level of scrumptious dipping them in Tazo’s Chai with vanilla and caramel in my mother-in-laws tea cup.
I love the family baking event this turned in to and hope there’s many more to come. Below is the Biscotti recipe:
BISCOTTI ALLA NONNA NUNZIATA
2 sticks of butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk or half and half
3 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1- 1 1/2 cup almonds or pistachios
8 oz candied orange peel or 1- 1 & 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (for both bakes)
- Cream (mix) butter and sugar, add vanilla, then 1 egg at a time (mixing well after each egg) and finally add the milk.
- In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
- Slowly mix in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Stir in nuts and dried fruit.
- Use parchment paper to cover the pans (I’m not going to lie…I’ll probably be lazy and use some short of baking spray on aluminum foil).
- Whatever pans you chose to use, fill them 1/2 to 1 inch high with final mixture (if smaller loaf pans are used you will need several pans).
- Bake the batter for 30-35 minutes.
- When cool, use a sharp chef knife to carefully slice the “cake” into the 4 inch horizontal sections and then each of these into 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide and about 4 inches long biscotti.
- Place the biscotti (with cut side down) on the cookie sheet and bake about 5-7 minutes. (Do not need parchment paper or baking spray for second bake).
- Flip biscotti and bake another 5-7 minutes. If baking more than one tray at a time, switch which oven racks they are baking on.
- Biscotti should come out with a lightly brown color. The longer you bake the biscotti the harder they will be. Since they are commonly eaten by dipping in tea or coffee, the hardness of the biscotti is up to the baker.
- Cool on wire rack and store in cool, dry place. Biscotti will store well in the freezer for future use.