Simple baking projects, like making homemade biscotti, are my favorites. This week I made two cakes that sounded good in print but didn’t turn out – maybe they contained too much fruit layered into the raw batter or were under baked (?) but they both had terrible sort of mushy textures. The first cake was a banana rum raisin and the second one was a rose flavored raspberry filled loaf cake. I guess the tip off should have been there were no photographs of either cake in the cookbooks I used and being slightly suspicious I do wonder why some recipes don’t have pictures!?
My tender biscotti filled with toasted hazelnuts and flavored with three kinds of vanilla are all around good eating cookies that don’t need to be softened up by dunking. I’m also sharing a few pictures-always a good sign of baking success.
They would also be good served with espresso but mainly I like to keep them in a container in my kitchen to help myself when the cravings for vanilla hazelnut biscotti hit which for me could be just about at any moment.
I gave these fairly thick sliced biscotti a good sprinkling of lavender vanilla sugar. The best way to evenly slice biscotti is to slice straight down through the cooled baked log with a serrated knife. I like to toast one side and then flip to toast the other side until they are a light golden brown in color. Make sure to lower the heat of the oven before toasting your biscotti.
It’s easy to get into biscotti baking and fun to collect favorite recipes. They also make great gifts, especially for shipping around the holidays. I shipped a box of my Nutella biscotti for Valentine’s Day to Athens and they arrived weeks later still fresh. I didn’t realize how long the package would take to arrive when I shipped them but thankfully I made and sent biscotti which are a very forgiving traveling cookie. A good eating, dunking and traveling cookie- I like having biscotti in my cookie jar.
Adapted from King Arthurs Flour.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup Italian style flour, King Arthurs Flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry roasted hazelnuts, Oregon Lewis variety hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon lavender vanilla bean sugar, Savory Spice Shop, for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment, one extra for toasting the biscotti.
- In a medium size bowl combine the flours, salt and baking powder, set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and smooth.
- Beat in the vanilla and eggs, scrape down as needed.
- Turn speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until smooth, stir in the hazelnuts.
- The dough will be sticky.
- Using slightly wet hands shape the dough into a smooth log, slightly angled on the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the top with the lavender vanilla bean sugar.
- Bake the log for about 30 minutes or until light golden brown, remove from the oven.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325F.
- Wait until the log has cooled before slicing.
- Cut the log crosswise or angled into slices, depending on the size and shape biscotti you like.
- Place the biscotti slices on the baking sheets.
- Bake for about 12 minutes and flip sides and baking pans from top to bottom of oven, continuing to bake for 12 more minutes or until light golden brown on both sides.
- Remove biscotti from oven and cool on metal racks.
- Store in airtight container-they will keep for weeks.