If you’ve ever visited a traditional Italian coffee shop, you might have noticed that your coffee came with an interesting-tasting, hard cookie. This is biscotti, a traditional Italian cookie that tastes delicious with a good cappuccino. So, how does biscotti taste?
Biscotti tastes slightly sweet with a subtle vanilla flavor note. The almonds give it a nutty and faintly bitter taste but this is offset by the orange zest and if the biscotti includes dried fruit. Biscotti is baked twice and has a hard, dry texture.
Read further to find out what gives biscotti its unique taste. I’ll also explain what pairs well with biscotti, where you can buy it, and how to make it.
What Gives Biscotti Its Unique Taste?
It’s impossible to find another cookie type quite like biscotti. So, what gives biscotti its unique taste?
Biscotti gets its unique taste from the combination of almonds, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Its texture is also notable as it is hard and dry due to being baked twice.
Biscotti is ideal if you don’t have a sweet tooth and enjoy a semi-sweet cookie as it’s not overwhelmingly sugary like other cookie types.
Biscotti was first created during the Roman ages when people needed a foodstuff that would last during their travels. They discovered that if they baked dough twice, it would result in a hard and thoroughly dry starch, making the staleness less noticeable over time.
The dry texture also meant that biscotti was less likely to become moldy, and would last longer.
What Pairs Well With Biscotti?
In the previous section, I described how satisfying it is to bite into a hard piece of biscotti and how tasty it is. Aside from eating it on its own, what else goes well with biscotti?
Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate pair very well with biscotti. Due to its sweet flavor and nutty texture, it pairs excellently with your morning beverage. It also goes well with desserts like ice cream and sweet wine, and more savory flavors such as plain yogurt, milk, and butter.
I’ll explain why these items pair well with biscotti in more detail below:
- Coffee. Biscotti is delicious after dunking it in coffee for a few seconds. The hard cookie soaks up the coffee, giving it a rich taste and a softer texture.
- Tea. Biscotti tastes delicious alongside any type of tea and makes a delightful and light snack. You can dip it into your tea or eat it between sips.
- Hot chocolate. Hot chocolate adds extra richness and flavor to biscotti. The almonds or hazelnuts bring out the hot chocolate’s sweetness, while the crunchy texture perfectly contrasts the hot chocolate’s smooth consistency.
- Ice cream. If you want to make a boring ice cream flavor more exciting, crumble up some biscotti, and mix it in.
- Sweet wine. Instead of a fattening dessert, opt for a piece of biscotti that you occasionally dunk in some sweet wine.
- Butter or margarine. If biscotti is too dry for you to eat by itself, spread a little butter or margarine on it for a more satisfying treat.
- Mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone cheese can be too rich if you eat it with another rich food, but biscotti is light enough for you to enjoy this cheese’s creamy taste.
- Milk. If you’re on a budget but still want to enjoy the finer things in life, a piece of biscotti with a glass of milk makes an inexpensive but luxurious snack.
- Plain Greek yogurt. Whether you spread your biscotti with some plain Greek yogurt or place the biscotti in your yogurt, this plain yogurt flavor is more exciting.
Where Can I Buy Biscotti?
Now that I’ve described how delicious biscotti is and some interesting ways to eat it, you’re probably keen to try some. Where can you buy biscotti?
You can buy biscotti online, at Italian specialty stores, and from many grocery stores, including Kroger, Trader Joe’s, and Giant Eagle. Some farmer’s markets also sell it.
Nonni’s Biscotti Variety Pack from Amazon.com is an excellent introduction to biscotti because it’s affordable and offers four delicious flavors:
- Turtle pecan
How Do I Make Biscotti?
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to make biscotti instead of buying it, the good news is that it’s pretty easy to make. So, what’s a good recipe for biscotti?
You can make biscotti by combining two different types of sugar with flavored extracts and traditional cake ingredients. You will need to bake them twice to create authentic biscotti.
Here are the ingredients of biscotti:
- 90g (3.17oz) of caster sugar
- 90g (3.17oz) of brown sugar
- Two eggs
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- One teaspoon of orange extract (or one zested orange)
- One teaspoon of baking powder
- 300g (10.58oz) of cake flour
- 150g (5.29oz) of chopped almonds
Almonds are a traditional biscotti ingredient, but you can replace them with hazelnuts. Adding chopped dried fruit (such as cranberries) can help you to personalize your biscotti recipe.
Here is an easy recipe for tasty biscotti:
- Heat your oven to 150°C (300°F). Grease a baking sheet or line it with baking paper.
- Beat the eggs, caster, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until they become pale yellow and fluffy.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir them until they form a stiff dough.
- Add the dough to a floured board or work surface, and create two flat logs.
- Transfer the logs to the baking sheet, and place them in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the logs from the oven and cut them into one centimeter (0.4 inches) thick pieces.
- Bake the biscotti again for ten minutes or until they appear light brown and crispy.
- Remember to store your biscotti in an airtight container to preserve their crunch and freshness. Your biscotti can last several weeks if you store them in this way.
Biscotti is a semi-sweet, dry, and crunchy cookie with subtle hints of vanilla. The almonds give it a slightly bitter taste but this is offset by the orange zest and if the biscotti has dried fruit pieces.
Biscotti’s texture is dry and crunchy, and it’s the perfect cookie type to dunk in your tea or coffee.
You can buy biscotti online or at most grocery stores, but it’s easy to make, and you can customize your biscotti recipe by replacing almonds with hazelnuts or adding cranberries.