These fragrant and tasty cookies are a variation of the classic Italian Biscotti cookies. Their name means “twice baked”, as they are first baked as a log, sliced and baked again until they are completely dry. This way of baking results cookies that can be stored for long periods of time.
As in the traditional recipe, in the recipe here I avoided the newer additions of fat, liquids or large amount of baking powder to the dough. I have also sliced the logs into thinner slices, unlike in these newer variations.
As a result, the cookies are extra crispy and dry, and are at their best when dunked in coffee or sweet wine.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes + 10-15 minutes
Makes: about 50
½ cup sugar
1 ¼ cups flour
½ cup hazelnut flour
1 Tbs fennel seeds
½ tsp baking powder
¼ cup roughly chopped roasted hazelnuts
2 XL eggs, at room temperature
For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp milk and sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line two cookie sheets with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, hazelnuts flour, fennel seeds, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the roasted hazelnuts and the eggs and knead briefly to a fairly sticky dough. Do not add flour.
4. Divide the dough into two equal parts. On a lightly floured work space, roll each into a log about 2” (5cm) thick. Place in the baking pan and brush the top with the egg wash.
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and increase the oven temperature to 375F (190C).
6. Place the logs on a cutting board and let cool slightly. Slice each log with a serrated knife on the bias, while still warm, into ¼” (0.6 cm) slices. Place the cut slices in the pans, and bake for 10-15 minutes, until they are golden on the edges and completely dry. Place on racks to cool (the cookies will harden even more after cooling.) Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.