I’m absolutely sure that some of the best food I’ve ever had was in Italy several years ago. Driving around the countryside of Tuscany, we explored tiny villages and always stopped at the local osteria where no one spoke English. Pointing and speaking broken Italian, we ordered food as best we could. What arrived on our table always delighted our taste buds. I vividly remember a plate of freshly-made gnocchi with pesto and giant prawns. Unbelievable!
Italians don’t tolerate bad food. Period. You can stop at a truck stop and the find a glass case full of beautiful and delicious treats. Gelato shops serve the most amazing frozen deliciousness I’ve ever tasted. The baked goods at panetterias throw you into pastry overload.
One morning when we were stopping for our second or third cappuccino, I ordered my first ever biscotti to go with my coffee. I’ll never forget the perfect combination of crunch, sweetness, and flavor. Dipped into the cappuccino, the biscotti melted into the most incredible, buttery bite I’ve ever experienced.
This was my first attempt at making biscotti and they’re actually quite easy to make. If you’ve ever looked at biscotti recipes before, you’ve seen the many varied ingredients that can be used. I chose dried cherries and macadamia nuts for this recipe. Biscotti make a great breakfast treat and must be accompanied by a hot cup of joe.
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 cup toasted and roughly chopped macadamia nuts
- 1 cup roughly chopped dried cherries
- 8 ounces of Bakers White Chocolate
- 1. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 2. In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, and salt.
- 3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar on medium high speed for about three minutes or until light and fluffy.
- 4. Add one egg at a time and mix until blended. Add vanilla and orange zest and continue mixing to combine.
- 5. Reduce speed of mixer and add flour mixture in small amounts. When flour is incorporated, add macadamia nuts and cherries and mix until combined.
- 6. Transfer dough to a floured surface, If dough is too sticky, add flour in small amounts until you can handle the dough. Cut dough in half and roll each half into a 12 inch log.
- 7. Place dough logs on baking sheet about two inches apart. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through cooking.
- 8. Remove baking sheet from oven and cool for 30 minutes.
- 9. Transfer logs to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut log into 1/2 inch slices at a sharp diagonal. You should end up with biscotti that are 1/2 inch wide and five to six inches in length.
- 10. Place biscotti on baking sheet cut side down, return to oven, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly browning. Place biscotti on a cooling rack and cool completely.
- 11. In a double boiler, melt white chocolate. Dip the bottom of each of the biscotti in the white chocolate and place on wax paper to dry.