Growing up, there was always a batch of biscotti in the pantry. These twice-baked biscotti have now become a very trendy dessert in New York City coffee shops. One of the reasons they are so popular is because you can change them according to your favorite flavor additions, which can include chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, currants, lemon or orange zest, and more. You can also add extracts, such as almond or lemon. For real decadence, you can dip the ends of your biscotti into your favorite melted (dark or white) chocolate.
Yield: Makes about 3 dozen
½ cup vegetable or canola oil, or unsalted butter (softened)
¾ cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of your choice of coarsely chopped nuts or dried berries (it can also be a combination)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Mix the oil (or cream the butter) and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, and stir until well blended.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stirring constantly. Add your nuts or any other addition. Continue mixing until blended. The dough will be slightly sticky, so you should flour your hands as you work with it.
Divide the dough into either 2 logs (12 by 2 inches) or 4 logs (6 by 2 inches). Make sure you place them several inches (at least 3 inches) apart because they will expand.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the logs are light brown. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Then turn the heat down to 275°F. Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut the logs into diagonal slices, about 3⁄4-inch long. You can place them on their sides (or stand them upright on the baking sheet) and bake them for an additional 10 minutes. (This is why they are called twice-baked.) Cool before serving.