Brown Butter Biscotti

005I rarely order biscotti in a restaurant as I am usually disappointed. If one happens to find its way to my table, it is only because the biscotto (singular) has accompanied my coffee and rests flavorless on the saucer. However, I recently enjoyed a very tasty one with un caffe in a rather unlikely place.

After a day of gardening, Jack and I went downtown and stopped in a cafe that had recently opened for business. They served a few small bites, half a dozen types of pizza (exceptional “white” pizza) and had an extensive wine and beer list.

The dessert menu was short and sweet. As usual, Jack passed on dessert and I, being the typical Sicilian girl (with a sweet-tooth) ordered the biscotti. My dessert plate arrived with four long, thin, dark brown, singed-on-the-ends biscotti and tasted better than they looked. I asked our server about them and all she could tell me was that they were baked in the 8oo-degree pizza oven! (That would explain the singed ends).

I was intrigued with this version of the typically twice-baked cookie so the next day I came up with this recipe to add to my repertoire. Browning the butter and toasting the nuts is the key to what gives these nutty, buttery cookies their depth of flavor and richness. Baking them a little longer than my other biscotti recipes results in dark golden-brown biscotti (senza the singed ends!)

You might also like to fill your biscotti jar with; Anise Biscotti, Espresso Biscotti, Lemon Biscotti, Fiori di Sicilia Biscotti, Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Biscotti and Bittersweet Chocolate Blood Orange Biscotti.

Ingredients:

  • 9 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces almonds, toasted, chopped
  1. In a small heavy saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat until brown. Depending on your pan this could be anywhere from 5-8 minutes. It’s important to watch over it and stir as the browning seems to happen all at once and you don’t want it to burn. The butter will foam before it browns. You will smell a delicious, nutty, buttery fragrance when it’s ready. Remove from heat and transfer the butter to a shallow cake pan to cool and harden (It will become the consistency of softened butter). You could put it in the refrigerator to expedite the process.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir into butter mixture. Add the nuts. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. On parchment-lined cookie sheets, take half of the dough and shape into 2 logs, 12-inches x 2-inches. (See Anise Biscotti for pictures on shaping and slicing the logs). Flatten them slightly. Repeat with the other half of the dough on another cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350* oven on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool. Bake the other cookie sheet.
  5. Once the logs are cool to the touch, carefully place on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange close together (cut-side down) and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully turn cookies over and bake at 350*an additional 5 minutes. (Make sure oven hasn’t cooled down).

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