I love this biscotti recipe. I think I may have seen it on an episode of Giada De Laurenti1s' show, or I just happened upon it on the Food Network website while looking for biscotti recipes.
Anyway, the recipe is hers, and you can find it here. Go now and print yourself a copy. Trust me.
I made a batch of these during my pre-Christmas cookie frenzy, except I made them smaller than usual – in other words, instead of dividing the dough in half and making two logs, I made four skinnier logs. (I realize if you've never made biscotti you may be going "Huh??? Logs???" and for that I apologize. I'm always putting the logs before the dough.
This recipe combines two wonderful elements – cornmeal, which gives the biscotti an extra crunch, and citrus in the form of lemon and orange zest.
First up, it's important to select the right kind of citrus. Here to help us is Scratchy.
Don't be shy – smell the citrus – it should smell fresh and, well, citrusy. Lemons should smell like lemons, and clementines should smell like clementines, which is to say, pretty much like oranges. In the photo above, Scratchy makes sure the clementines are acceptable.
The dough goes together easily – combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together. Then combine eggs and sugar in another bowl…add the zests to the dry ingredients and then add THAT mixture to the egg/sugar mixture. See? Easy.
Now, to make the "normal" sized biscotti, you'd divide the dough in half and form a log with each half of dough on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
But as I mentioned earlier, I divided the dough into quarters and made four skinny logs on two parchment-lined sheet pans.
The logs don't have to look perfect, they just need to be uniform (pretty much) in width. You sort of form the dough into a loggish shape, then press it down a bit to flatten, then kind of draw the dough out further, length-wise, then pat it down again. You want it nearly as long as the baking sheet and about half an inch thick.
Kind of like that. Then you do the other quarter of dough, and then you do the other two on the other pan.
Bake these for about half an hour at 325 degrees F, or until golden and just firm to the touch. Rotate pans (if you're doing the mini-biscotti version) half-way through the bake time.
When the biscotti are done with this first bake, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool about five minutes or so. They need to set up a bit, and they need to cool enough so you can handle them.
Once you can handle the logs, you need to slice them up. Use a serrated knife, and slice the logs on the diagonal, so the cookies are about half an inch in width.
Then you place the pieces back on the baking sheets, cut sides up/down (rather than perching upright like they are above).
You know, when I first ever read that instruction, whenever it was years ago – to place something "cut side down" (it may have been in a cinnamon bun recipe), I spent WAY too long wondering WHICH cut side they were talking about. How was I supposed to KNOW which cut side was the REAL cut side that needed to face down? What if I got it wrong? Would it drag down my GPA? Would it go on my PERMANENT RECORD???? Back then I didn't have children, so my brain was free to obsess over trivia like that. Thank goodness times have changed and I can obsess about the really important stuff.
Back to our show.
Once all the biscotti are sliced and placed with the correct cut sides down (just kidding) on the baking sheets, pop them back in the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
Place on wire racks to cool.
Now, I like them plain. I don't need chocolate on my biscotti to be happy. So I was originally (when I made these last month) going to leave them as they were. But other people (i.e. my husband) think that they are too plain and need chocolate (I'm talking about the biscotti, not the people), so as a compromise, I drizzled melted bittersweet chocolate on half of them. And from a visual standpoint, the ones with the drizzle look more interesting. And, of course, you can also dip them in chocolate rather than just drizzle. Whatever makes you happiest.
And if you like cornmeal, and you like biscotti, and citrus, I think these will make you happy, regardless of your chocolate preference.
Again, if you want the recipe, go here.