This recipe is one of my favorites. It’s a little more work than a regular cookie recipe, but the biscotti are definitely worth it.
Biscotti are not too sweet— but very tasty— cookies. Unlike the biscotti sold in the coffee shops, these Italian cookies have a softer texture. This recipe will yield a perfect biscotto, toasted on the outside and semi-soft on the inside.
Memories of my grandmother come flooding back to me whenever I make biscotti. I feel very special to have had the opportunity to grow up in a home with a grandmother— my father’s mother lived in our home until I was 15 years old.
There is nothing greater than having your grandmother live with you. Grandma was Italian-American, and she was born in New York City on the lower east side in Little Italy. When she passed away at 90 years old, she still spoke with an Italian accent.
There was a park about five blocks from our house, and Grandma would meet friends there to sit and chat. She brought me along to sing and dance for their entertainment. My Grandma was a tiny little woman compared to everyone else in our house, and she had a tiny room at the end of the hall with her own TV.
She liked to watch soap operas; but at night, if we weren’t allowed to watch our programs on the TV in the living room, we always knew Grandma would let us watch our favorite shows in her room.
Grandma had her wine delivered to our house every week. She drank red wine three times a day. I can still see her at the table with her small glass of wine and her biscotto. She would dunk the biscotto in the wine. This is not something I ever acquired a taste for, but she enjoyed her biscotto that way.
Make some biscotti and give them to your grandmother with a great big hug. While you’re at it, give her a hug from me too!
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 2 teaspoons anise extract
- 2 cups walnuts, chopped small
- Extra flour for hands
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Place your oven racks in the center of the oven. To bake evenly, the middle is the best place to position your cookie sheets.
- In a large bowl, beat butter until light and creamy with electric beater on medium speed.
- Beat in sugar, eggs and lemon and anise extracts.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.
- Gradually add the dry mixture into the large bowl until well blended. On the lowest speed, gradually add the walnuts. Form dough into a ball. Remove from bowl and transfer to a pastry sheet.
- Cover an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the dough and your hands with flour. Shape the dough into four 12- by 3-inch logs, or as close to these dimensions as you can. Bake logs 25 to 35 minutes or until the logs are lightly browned and firm when touched in the middle. Remove from the oven. Leave the oven on.
- Cool logs on cookie sheets for 10 to 12 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut 1/2-inch slices on the bias. With the cut biscotti standing up, space them out on the cookie sheet. Bake the biscotti in this position for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
- ENJOY—Biscotti are best when baked with love.
Mariann Raftery, creator of Somebody's Mom blog, cooks up comfort food recipes for families here at home. She also whips up homemade cookie care packages to send to our American soldiers overseas. Find Somebody's Mom Cooking videos on YouTube with the search term "Thesomebodysmom." Mariann’s regular column appears Fridays on New Rochelle Patch.