Simple Spiced Biscotti inspired by a recipe from “Mama Bruno”
I’ve never met Mama Bruno, but when “Husband” brought me one of these biscotti home from work to try, I could tell by the tone of his voice that I was going to love her recipe. I was lucky enough to get a copy of it and permission to share my version of it here! I’ve made some minor changes to her recipe, mainly just to use up some ingredients that have been hanging around the kitchen. I sent my modified biscotti with him and received a stamp of approval. Her version is made with almonds, but I really love my modified version with pistachios. I’ve made it with all pistachios and with half almonds and half pistachios. Both were amazing!
I wonder how many of my followers have realized a lot of my posts are about coffee, or mention coffee, or have coffee as an ingredient, or mention books with coffee in them. I might have a coffee problem. I promise, my fellow coffee lovers will want to try these dipped in a hot cup of coffee!
Biscotti, though time-consuming, is pretty easy to make, and there are so many variations and flavors. I like it with nuts, without nuts, drizzled with chocolate, dipped in chocolate, topped with spices or nuts, I honestly don’t’ think I’ve ever tried a biscotti I didn’t like. I even like citrus biscotti.
To get the hard biscotti texture they require a second bake and a cooling period in between. They are perfect to make any day, but especially on a cold or rainy day.
TIP: Let the biscotti cool in the oven and they will be perfectly hardened for dipping in coffee!
Simple Spiced Biscotti (Biscotti Di Mama Bruno)
- standing mixer or hand held, a whisk will work but mixer will be easier.
- small dish (for eggwash)
- medium mixing bowl or batter bowl
- large mixing bowl
- measuring cups and spoons
- mixing spoon and/or spatula
- baking sheet with cooling racks
- pastry brush
- sharp serrated knife
- 3 *eggs *set aside a couple of tablespoons to brush on top of the loaves prior to baking.
- ⅛ tsp *salt small pinch (*if your nuts are not salted use about ¼ tsp of salt)
- ¾ cup sugar I used organic cane sugar but white/caster sugar is fine.
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp molasses
- ¾ tsp allspice you could reduce the allspice to 1/2 tsp for a milder flavor.
- ½ tsp nutmeg freshly grated nutmeg is the best!
- ¾ tsp cocoa powder you could reduce this to 1/2 tsp for a milder flavor, but the cocoa is pretty subtle.
- 2½ cups flour all purpose (plus an extra tbsp or two to flour your surface and hands)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ cups *pistachios and/or almonds roughly chopped -I like either all pistachios or half pistachios and half almonds. *reserve about 2 tbsp finely chopped nuts and set aside to garnish the loaves. (Optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and set aside a tbsp. or two to use to brush on the loaves before baking
- Add sugar & oil and beat until combined
- Mix in vanilla and molasses
- In a medium bowl mix together the salt, cocoa, spices, flour, and baking powder.
- Add the flour and spice mixture to the large bowl about a third at a time. The dough will get stiff, so if you are hand mixing you'll probably need to pour it out onto a clean surface and finish mixing it together with your hands.
- Knead or mix in the nuts.
- Divide the dough into two flat long loaves and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Brush the loaves with egg wash and sprinkle the chopped nuts over the tops. (I sprinkled sugar and a dusting of cocoa powder over one loaf)
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through. It should spring back lightly to touch. Reduce oven temperature to 210°, or turn it off until you’re ready for the second baking.
- Remove the loaves from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for twenty minutes. Don’t remove them from the sheet for fifteen minutes– they are very tender.
- Gently move your cooled loaves to a cutting board/surface. Using your fingertips, sprinkle the tops of the loaves with a few lite splatterings of water to moisten. (This will help keep the tops of the loaves from cracking when slicing these into cookies.)
- Using a sharp serrated knife slice each loaf into about 10-12 even slices. (You could also slice these into (fewer) longer biscotti by slicing in the along the long edge.)
- Add a cooling rack(s) to the cookie sheets and carefully place the cookies on the racks. You may want to use a spatula to support the tender cookies from the bottom.
- Bake at 210° for twenty-five minutes. Check them midway to make sure they aren't browning too much. If so, reduce to 200°
- Reduce heat to 190° and bake for an additional twenty-five to thirty minutes. They should feel dried out by now. They may still be a little soft in the middle until they have cooled completely. If you prefer a softer, more cookie-like biscotti remove them from the oven after 10 to 15 minutes and allow to cool on the rack.
- *For extra hard but great dipping biscotti, leave the biscotti in the oven and turn off the oven. Forget about them for an hour or two! They’ll be super hard and crunchy!
- Allow biscotti to cool on the racks to prevent breaking and to harden.
I hope you try these biscotti, and even modify them with whatever nuts you like, or dip or drizzle yours with dark chocolate. Do you have a family biscotti recipe you’d like to share? If so, I’d love a link!