Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti

Biscotti are a twice-baked Italian cookie that are just begging to be enjoyed by dunking into your favorite hot beverage. I grew up around these--being from an Italian family. My grandma would always have these hard cookies around to eat with her cup of tea. I never really understood their appeal back then. But now? I'm totally geeked about these things.

I made biscotti for the first time two Christmases ago and I wasn't all that impressed with them. I think I overbaked the darn things. But if you're careful, the result of this recipe is perfectly delicious.


Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti
recipe from Joy the Baker

Yield: about 20-24 cookies
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping:
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; whisk to blend and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until lightly and fluffy, 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the egg and then the egg yolk, beating well after each addition.  Blend in the vanilla until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated and a dough is formed.
Divide the dough into two halves.  Shape each half into a log 9 inches long by 1½ inches wide on the prepared baking sheet, spacing the logs at least 3-4 inches apart.  In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and stir to blend well.  Lightly brush the tops of the logs with the beaten egg, and sprinkle generously with some of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown and slightly firm to the touch.  Remove the pan from the oven but maintain the oven temperature.  Once the logs are cool enough to handle, slice on the diagonal into 1½-inch slices (about 10-12 per log).  Place biscotti cut side-down on the baking sheet and sprinkle with more of the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until crisp and golden.

Enjoy with your favorite hot beverage! This is a cookie that was made for dunking.

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