Apparently “biscotti” means “baked twice” in Italian. These are really crunchy, great for dipping into a cup of hot espresso. I’ve included several flavor variations, but you can probably come up with some of your own.
This makes about 40 cookies, enough for 2 different flavor batches, so you may want to half it. You’re going to need 3 or 4 large mixing bowls and some sturdy wooden spoons, and be prepared because this involved a tremendous amount of heavy stirring!
6 eggs, separated 4½ cups all purpose flour
2½ cups sugar, divided in half 2¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. vanilla. Pinch salt
Separate eggs into two large mixing bowls. To the yolks, add 1¼ cup sugar; beat until a golden yellow and all sugar is dissolved. Beat whites on high until soft peaks form; gradually add 1¼ cups sugar, beating until sugar is incorporated. Fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture, add vanilla, and mix well. Divide this mixture equally among 2 mixing bowls; fold 2 different flavor ingredients into the 2 egg mixtures and set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt; divide this in half in 2 separate bowls. Fold one of the flour mixtures into one of the egg mixtures, a little at a time. Mix with a large wooden spoon; batter will become quite stiff and sticky. Turn out onto a parchment lined baking sheet, lightly sprayed with spray oil; with floured hands, shape dough into a log. Repeat with other half; bake the logs at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove; cool for 20 minutes.
Slice each loaf into ½ inch slices on the bias (like slicing French bread), and arrange slices on the lined baking sheets. Return cookies to the 350 degree oven and bake another 20 minutes until lightly browned and edges are crispy. Remove and cool. Drizzle with/dip ends into melted chocolate or almond bark. Let dry and store in air-tight containers for several weeks. Freezes well.
Flavor variations–Into egg mixture fold any combination of 2 (or possibly 3 if you reduce the amounts) of the following:
1 cup whole almonds, toasted 1½ cups chopped pistachios
2 tblsp. ground cinnamon. 1½ cups dried cranberries
1½ cups chopped macadamia nuts 1½ cups toasted, chopped
1½ cups white chocolate or Walnuts
Chopped almond bark. 1½ cups semisweet chocolate
* These are just a few suggestions; the possibilities are endless.