Florentine Biscotti

I'm studying up on delicious Florentine treats "to improve my Italian" (yeah, right) and occupy my time. In the US, biscotti, literally "twice-baked," is often served for breakfast or with after-dinner coffee--but Italians don't drink coffee after ten AM. So what do the Italians dunk their biscotti in? Vino, of course!

From my favorite Florentine chef, the Divina Cucina.

Traditional Biscotti

2 and 1/3 cups flour
2 and 1/3 cups sugar
1 tbs baking powder
4 eggs + 1 egg yolk

The "goodies," in my case cranberry almond and peppermint chocolate dipped, respectively, can be whatever you what! Hazelnuts are most traditional, especially for the holidays.

The first step, as in most baking recipes, is to preheat the oven. (You fail if you forget to turn it on, but this dough is so freaking delicious you might be tempted to "forget" to cook a little bit.) Anyway, 350 degrees worked pretty well for me.

I like to beat the eggs (and yolk) before adding them slowly to the dry ingredients. It was a step I made up after struggling to properly mix the first batch, and I'm not sure if it was "correct--but damn it's not like I'm actually Italian, so whatever. It made it easier to incorporate, in small bits, into the rest of the batter.

Form the dough into three loaves and bake for--well, for as long as it takes. This is the only tricky part. I wish I could give a real time for this but it was different for every loaf, but a rough estimate would be 25 to 30 minutes. It will look like a giant almost done cookie (my picture: what NOT to do). Let it rest a bit, say ten minutes, and cut into into 1/2 to 1 inch wedges, just however you like it.

Then bake again, for a total of about 20 minutes, turning them once in the oven so that all the cookies are evenly browned.

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