Biscotti photo by Nathalie Dulex | SXC.
Updated July 2009
Make Anisette Or Amaretto Biscotti With This Recipe From Mario Batali
This is Page 2 of a two-page article on the history of biscotti. Italians love their biscotti; there is no one “best” biscotti recipe because everyone likes something different (pistachio? dipped in chocolate? see the list of possibilities on Page 1). Here is Chef Mario Batali’s favorite biscotti recipe, flavored with anisette or amaretto for a gourmet touch. Click on the black link below to read the history of biscotti.
Bake Mario Batali’s Anisette or Amaretto Biscotti
Biscotti range in texture from very hard to somewhat spongy and more cake-like. First, the sticky dough is shaped into a log and baked until firm. After a short cooling period, the log is sliced into diagonal slices and baked again to cook out the moisture and produce the crisp, dry-textured cookie with a longer shelf life. The classic recipe has no butter or oil, using only eggs to bind the ingredients together. Recipes that do use butter or oil have a softer texture and a shorter shelf life. There are many delicious variations on the classic recipe: click here for some good cookbooks featuring biscotti.
Here’s a recipe from one of America’s favorite Italian chefs Mario Batali. Chef Batali notes, “The following recipe is my favorite for simple, crunchy biscotti, spiked with the flavor of toasted anise seed and a shot of anisette liqueur. Use whole almonds, and chop them roughly with a knife, rather than a food processor, to keep them in large pieces, which will look beautiful when the biscotti are sliced. You may also substitute half or all of the almonds with hazelnuts, using Frangelico or Amaretto instead of the anisette.”
- 3-½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks plus one egg white, reserved
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons anisette or amaretto
- 1 tablespoon anise seed
- 6 cups coarsely chopped whole
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar for glaze
Biscotti Pan. From Chicago Metallic’s commercial line of bakeware, designed specifically for biscotti baking.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease two heavy cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until light, about 2 minutes; the mixture will look somewhat curdled. Beat in the vanilla, anisette or amaretto, and anise seed. Beat in the dry ingredients, then the chopped nuts.
- Divide the dough into four portions. On a lightly floured board, shape each portion into a flat log, just about the length the cookie sheet. Place two rolls on each cookie sheet.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork until frothy. With a pastry brush, glaze each log with some egg white and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the logs are lightly golden brown, firm to the touch and just beginning to crack slightly.
- Allow the logs to cool on the cookie sheet until cool to the touch, about 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°. With a serrated knife, slice the biscotti, slightly on the bias, into ½-inch slices. Lay the slices on the cookie sheets in single layer; Return the biscotti to the oven and cook for 20 more minutes, or until the biscotti are toasted and crisp
- Store the biscotti in an airtight container. They will keep up to about 2 weeks.
For more of Chef Batali’s recipes, visit the website of his enormously popular New York City restaurant, Babbo, or add one of these great books to your library:
|Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home, by Mario Batali. With dishes from many of the 21 regions of Italy, simple everyday dishes and regional specialties will delight Italian food lovers. Fans will find repeat renditions of signature Batali dishes found in his earlier volumes, such as Short Ribs in Barolo, and Bucatini all’Amatriciana, but can also discover tantalizing new ones, such as Malloredus with Fennel, Game Hen with Pomegranate, and Lamb Shanks with Orange and Olive. Click here for more information or to purchase.
||Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages, by Mario Batali. The two villages are his ancestral village of Borgo Cappene, a hillside village in northern Italy; and Greenwich Village, location of his great restaurant Babbo and other very popular dining establishments. The book features nearly 250 of Batali’s favorite recipes, traditional and innovative, for delectable salads, pastas, grilled specialties, ragus, and desserts. The collection reflects Batali’s commitment to simple cooking. Click here for more information or to purchase.
Holiday Food, by Mario Batali. Chef Batali presents four complete menus for the holidays and captures all the fun and festivity that epitomize Italian celebrations. True to the commitment to simple cooking evident in his first book, Simple Italian Food (see book at left), the dishes here deliver maximum flavor and enjoyment without being overly complicated. Try something different for the holidays this year. Click here for more information or to purchase.
© Recipe copyright Mario Batali. Other material copyright 2005-