From hazelnut and anise to cranberry, citrus, chocolate and even cheese, Domenica Marchetti has compiled a tempting array of biscotti recipes in Ciao Biscotti (Chronicle Books, 2015). Each recipe ends with a drink suggestion to pair with the cookies, and bright illustrations accompany the easy-to-follow directions. The following recipe is from “Classic Flavors.”
No doubt you’ll laugh when I tell you that the inspiration for these biscotti came from that buffet table classic—the holiday cheese ball. But I also have no doubt that after one bite, you’ll be won over. Crispy, buttery, and rich with tangy blue cheese flavor, these biscotti are perfect for a holiday gathering.
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 cups unbleached all‑purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
• 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1⁄2 cup finely chopped walnuts
• 5 oz mountain Gorgonzola (also known as Gorgonzola piccante), crumbled
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces, at cool room temperature
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with the oil.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and walnuts in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix briefly on low speed.
3. Add the Gorgonzola in pieces and mix briefly to combine.
4. Add the butter in pieces and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture looks like damp sand.
5. Pour in the eggs and mix on medium speed until a soft, slightly sticky dough has formed.
6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a disk. Divide it in half. Lightly moisten your hands with water and gently roll one portion of dough into a rough oval.
7. Place it lengthwise on one half of the baking sheet and use your hands and fingers to stretch and pat the dough into a log about 2-1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Shape the second piece of dough in the same way, moistening your hands as necessary. Press down on the logs to flatten them out a bit and make the tops even.
8. Bake the logs for 25 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and just set—they should be springy to the touch and there should be cracks on the surface.
9. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Gently slide an offset spatula under each log to loosen it from the baking sheet. Let the logs cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer them to the rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
10. Transfer the cooled logs to a cutting board and, using a Santoku knife or a serrated bread knife, cut them on the diagonal into 1/3-inch-thick slices.
11. Arrange the slices, cut-side up, on the baking sheet (in batches if necessary) and bake for 15 minutes.
12. Turn the slices over and bake for another 15 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden.
13. Transfer the slices to the rack to cool completely. The biscotti will keep for up to 10 days in an airtight container stored at room temperature.
What to drink: A dry red wine such as Barbaresco or Barbera.
More from Ciao Biscotti:
Reprinted with permission from Ciao Biscotti: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Celebrating Italy's Favorite Cookie by Domenica Marchetti and published by Chronicle Books, 2015.