Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup diced dried fruit such as apricots, cherries, raisins or figs
1/2 cup slivered almonds or hazelnuts
1 tablespoon brandy
4 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
1/2 cup diced candied orange peel
Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand held mixer until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, on medium speed.
On a sheet of wax paper, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend well on medium speed.
Transfer half of the dough from the mixer to a bowl. On low speed mix the vanilla into the remaining dough. Scoop half the vanilla flavored dough onto a sheet of wax paper. Set aside.
To the remaining dough in the mixer bowl, mix in 1/2 cup diced dried fruit. With floured hands, form the dough into a log about 12 to 14 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Flatten the roll slightly, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.
Return the remaining vanilla dough to the mixer bowl and mix in the 1/2 cup of nuts. Form, wrap, and refrigerate as above.
Return the remaining dough to the mixer and on low speed blend in the brandy and the cocoa until the dough is a uniform chocolate color. Scoop half the dough onto a clean sheet of wax paper. To the dough left in the mixer bowl, add in the white chocolate and mix well. Form, wrap, and refrigerate as above.
Return the remaining chocolate dough to the mixer bowl and add in the orange peel. Mix well. Form, wrap, and refrigerate as above. You now have 4 logs of flavored dough chilling.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap and place two logs, spaced 3-inches apart, on each sheet.
Bake the logs for about 12 to 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes before slicing them crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. A serrated knife works best for slicing.
Place the biscotti back on the baking sheets and toast them in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until they are lightly brown and dry. Remove and cool.
To glaze biscotti (optional)
Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a simmer in a double boiler. Turn off heat. Place 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped white chocolate and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a heat proof bowl and place it in the top of the double boiler. Allow the chocolate to melt, then stir to blend the oil and chocolate. When smooth, dip the ends of biscotti in the chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off. Allow the biscotti to dry well on a cooling rack and then store in tightly sealed plastic or tin containers. You may also glaze with milk or dark chocolate if you prefer.
This recipe is featured on show 2915 – Cookies for Everyone.