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How to Make Biscotti

Do the Dunk

Photos by Jonathan Boncek

Although Italy is celebrated as the birthplace of biscotti, Southerners deserve a bit of credit for our enthusiastic consumption of this twice-baked treat. After all, part of our Southern charm comes from the knack for giving just the right hostess gift. Since the flavors and iterations of these twice-baked cookies are limited only by the baker’s imagination, they are easily customized to their recipient’s tastes, and thus are the ideal edible offering. The crunchy texture makes them a dunker’s dream—what better excuse to sit and savor with an espresso or hot chocolate. As for making biscotti, it’s fairly simple. The dough is formed into a log, baked, sliced into half-inch slices, then baked again. This second pass in the oven results in the signature crisp texture, which extends shelf life and increases dunking appeal. Biscotti, being less sugary than most cookies, are also a nice accompaniment to  dessert wines—Vin Santo is traditional in Italy. Flavors such as almond or anise are rightfully popular, but we encourage adding your own twist, like we do here with figs. Try seasonal variations by adding rosemary, white chocolate chunks, dried cherries, pecans, or orange zest. And maybe drizzle on a little melted dark chocolate for added decadence.

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