Italians love their biscotti and this is a recipe that I have researched and modified over the years for the best texture and flavor. The original recipe is from Italia, a combination of a few recipes I found.
Note: You will often find me researching Italian articles and websites for food ideas in my free time. I love this process of finding old and new food recipes to test out on my famiglia.
I remember these simple biscotti from as early as 5 or 6 years old at holiday celebrations; mostly during the Christmas season.
Friends and famiglia would make this at home or buy them at our local Italian bakery shop along with other pastries and biscotti. This classic simple biscotti yields a soft, tender cookie and as I adore the flavor of fresh lemons, I added the lemon flavor to the dough as well as to the glaze.
These are easily made in advance and, after glazing and letting them sit and dry, you can place them in well-sealed plastic containers in the freezer. Bring them along as hostess gifts, gifts for friends or as I often do, sit and enjoy some with your espresso during the holiday evenings with your friends and famiglia.
This recipe yields somewhere between 30-36 biscotti, depending on the size of your spoonfuls.
Note: I use my flatware tablespoon but I try to keep the size of the dough a bit smaller as these look so much prettier when they are a somewhat small in size and shape.
biscotti di limone e ricotta
2 sticks unsalted organic butter (room temperature)
2 cups organic unbleached sugar
4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/8-1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 organic eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 10-12 oz. container whole milk ricotta
1 whole lemon, zested and juiced
2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tbsp. whole milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 whole lemon (zested and juiced)
multi-colored nonpareils (or use silver sprinkles or gold for the holidays)
(additional zest for optional topping for the glaze, if desired)
In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients, blend well and set aside. In your mixer bowl, add the butter and sugar and cream together until well blended.
Slowly add in the flour mixture, blend as you go until all the flour has been incorporated.
Set the dough aside and prepare the baking trays by lining them with parchment paper.
Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the baking sheet allowing some space between the biscotti.
Place the first tray in the preheated 350 degree fahrenheit oven for about 10 to 11 1/2 minutes (or until the bottoms start to turn light golden brown, the tops will still look light.)
Do not over bake these as the texture changes dramatically and they will be dry and tough versus soft and tender.
Remove the tray and set on a rack to cool; continue baking the biscotti until all the dough is used. Once the cookies have cooled, in a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the glaze except for the candy decorations.
Mix well with fork until smooth and creamy (add more sugar or milk depending on the thickness or thinness of the glaze.) The glaze should drip easily off the fork but retain a thickness to stay on top of the biscotti and drip down a bit.
Glaze them using the fork and quickly decorate with the colored nonpareils as you go.
I decorate a portion in this style and keep a few aside that I love to decorate with the glaze and additional grated lemon zest on top for an extra boost of lemony flavor.
Allow them to sit and dry completely before moving and storing the biscotti in a table-top container or freezer container.
Note: Photography provided by Annette L. Venditti