DIY: Biscotti (Part I of II)

Lemon-poppy seed biscotti with <i>tsokolate ah</i>

Lemon-poppy seed biscotti with tsokolate ah

I recently found a recipe for biscotti, those crisp Italian biscuits that are great for dipping into hot coffee, tea, or chocolate.

The name itself – also the root word for the English and French word biscuit – is a compound of “bis” (twice) and “cotto” (cooked).  That in mind, classic biscotti calls for the biscuits to be baked twice: once to firm them up, the second time to make them crisp.

A Fresh Batch

A Fresh Batch

When I read the recipe, I decided to make a few substitutions.  Hence, I used oatmeal, not ground almonds, for a lighter, healthier result. This particular version is nice and lemony and speckled all over with nutty poppy seeds.; indeed, the more well-traveled may say this is reminiscent of the biscottini di Milano sold in Milan.  Instead of anise, however, it is cardamom that gives this cookie a particular savor.  The flavors, to be honest, are oh-so-summery.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Biscotti

  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats / oatmeal (not quick-cooking oats)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons lemon flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or seeds from 3 cardamom pods, ground in a mortar till medium fine
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (Gas Mark 4); grease and flour a standard-sized cookie sheet.

Whisk together the eggs, oil, and lemon flavoring. Stir in the sugar, cardamom, poppy seeds, and oatmeal. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until well-combined.

Divide the resulting dough into two logs on the cookie sheet; smooth the top and sides with a wet spatula. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove cookie sheet from oven and lower heat to 300 degrees (Gas Mark 3). Allow the logs to cool for about ten minutes, then cut each log into twelve pieces with a serrated [bread] knife. Return to cookie sheet and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Makes 24 cookies.

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