Low-Fat, Easy Biscotti Recipes
Traditionally, northern Italian bakers made very dense, hard, and dry biscotti which they serve with sweet wine (vine santo).
Later, many versions of these easy biscotti recipes started to appear all over Europe. We now have German zwieback, English rusks, Russian sukhariki, Jewish Mandelbrot, and French biscotte.
Although Americans do not have a special name for these cookies, they enjoy biscotti now more than ever. The American version tends to be lighter and crunchier than the traditional Italian version.
Like shortbread, dough for biscotti is a blank canvas to which you can add nuts, dried fruits, extracts, etc. to increase flavor and satisfy your own taste. No matter what you add, however, the best flavor comes from the freshest and purest ingredients.
Many American-style easy biscotti recipes yield soft dough that can accommodate a large amount of add-ins. Replacing some wheat flour in your recipes with nut flours (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans) is yet another option. Remember, however, that the more nut flours you add, the more crumply your biscotti will be.
If after baking and cooling as directed, you find that your biscotti are softer than you would like, just put them back in a 250 degrees F. oven until they reach the desired texture. Alternatively, simply place them uncovered on a cooling rack overnight to dry out.
Slicing a whole loaf for the second bake is sometimes very challenging, especially when it has whole nuts, large pieces of dried fruits or chocolate. Chopping these ingredients coarsely before adding them to the dough will somewhat solve this problem.3
Use a sharp knife in a chopping motion to cut cool biscotti loaves. If they are still warm, slice them with a large serrated knife in a sawing motion.2
Finally, “biscotti” means twice baked. It comes from the Latin words “bis” meaning “twice” and “coctus” (coquere) meaning “to cook”.1
- Brownie Biscotti
- Cheddar Cheese and Walnut Biscotti
- Gluten Free Biscotti with Almonds
- Peanut Butter Biscotti
- Raisin-Walnut Rusks
- Savory Herb Biscotti
Whole wheat flour adds extra fiber and a pleasant nutty flavor to these biscotti, even though you can use all white flour.
|Light creamy peanut butter||½ cup|
|Granulated sugar||¼ cup|
|Brown sugar, packed||¼ cup|
|Egg whites||2 large|
|Vanilla extract||2 tsp|
|All purpose flour||1 cup|
|Whole wheat flour||1 cup|
|Baking powder||1 tsp|
|Baking soda||½ tsp|
|Dry or honey roasted peanuts||½ cup|
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F., and spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray.
- Beat peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, egg whites and vanilla until smooth.
- Add flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chopped peanuts and stir by hand until just combined.
- On a slightly floured surface, divide the dough in half, then shape each half into an 8″ log.
- Place logs on prepared cookie sheets, spacing 2″ – 3″ apart, then flatten each into a half cylinder about 3″ in diameter.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until firm and starting to crack on top.
- Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes, then cut each log diagonally into ½” thick slices using a sharp serrated knife.
- Place biscotti cut side down on baking sheets and return them to a 275 degrees F. oven for 20 minutes.
- Turn biscotti over and bake for another 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.
This easy biscotti recipe yields about 2 dozen biscotti.
|Other Easy Cookie Recipes||Low Fat, Easy Biscotti Recipes|
1 Robbins, Maria. First Edition. Biscotti and Other Low-Fat Cookies. St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York. 1997.
2 Sanchez, Maria Bruscino. First Edition. Sweet Maria’s Italian Cookie Tray. St. Martin’s Press, New York, New York. 1997.
3The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook. First Edition. The Countryman Press, Woodstock, Vermont. 2004.