Ciao, tutti! I'm on a much-needed vacation in Rome right now, but I couldn't neglect the blog during the bakingest season of the year, so I'm leaving you with this recipe for fabulously easy, majorly impressive homemade biscotti.
I made these guys for a dinner party back in early November (more on that to come, as it was my first time doing a full-on dinner for a vegetarian-inclusive crowd), and everyone was so surprised to hear that I'd baked them from scratch. I just brushed off the oohs and aahs with a shrug: no biggie.
Because the beauty of this recipe is that it really is no biggie – it's a straightforward dough, that you basically slap in a log on a baking sheet, then pull it out of the oven, slice 'er up, and stick the cookies back in. A few minutes later: voilà! Freshly baked cookies of the type that most people only see in cellophane wrappers or big fancy cookie jars on hipster coffee shop counters.
The funny thing is, I totally bungled this recipe. I kind of made it up, based on a different biscotti recipe, and when they were baking in the oven I did a quick google of lemon poppyseed biscotti, to see how close I was to doing it right. Lo and behold, I totally did it right! Except... the recipe I found called for 3 Tbsp of poppyseeds, and I put in the whole bag, which was probably 1/3 cup. So... yeah. These little guys were pretty crunchy.
But that's the miracle of a simple recipe; they were still very tasty! So tasty, in fact, that the bf ate them all before I could photograph one in daylight (hence the bad night-pics)!
So this year, in addition to your peppermint barks and shortbreads and pies, I'd definitely recommend whipping up a batch of biscotti for your holiday gatherings. They keep really well, go great with coffee, and make a much bigger impression than the process of baking them really warrants.
But don't worry; I won't tell your guests.
Basic Biscotti Recipe
(with lemon poppyseed add-ins in purple)
adapted from Allrecipes
In a large bowl, cream until fluffy:
1/4 c (57g) butter
3/4 c sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla
Stir in, one at a time:
1 egg white
Whisk together in a separate bowl, then add gradually to wet ingredients:
2 c flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 c your preferred add-ins (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc) (or 3-5 Tbsp poppyseeds)
Chill dough 30 minutes, then heat oven to 325F/165C and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Divide the dough into two halves and form a long log out of each. Arrange logs 3 inches apart on the baking sheet (they will spread) and bake 30 minutes or until golden.