Biscotti originated in Italy, and the first recipes consisted of nothing more than sugar, flour, eggs, salt and baking powder. Its crunchy composition is designed for dipping and dunking into piping hot beverages or even a sweet after dinner wine. Tales are told of parents giving Vanilla Bean Biscotti to their teething children, and many believe its nourishing properties helps birthing women regain their strength after labor.
Now that’s one powerful cookie.
At some point, Americans starting adding butter to the recipe, which created a more tender texture that doesn’t necessarily need to be dunked. But for those of us who don’t mind a few crumbs in the coffee cup, this vanilla bean biscotti has a great crunchy vanilla flavor on its own, but the addition of 1/2 cup of chopped or slivered almonds is a welcome contribution.
Traditional Vanilla Bean Biscotti
Since this doesn’t have any additional nuts, spices or dried fruit, I used a fresh whole vanilla bean to create a really nice vanilla-y flavor.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Biscotti Recipe
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean pod
2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl, and add the vanilla bean seeds. Whisk or beat in really well to make sure the vanilla seeds are completely mixed in, not in one clump. Add baking powder, salt and flour. Mix well. The dough will be thick and kinda sticky.
Place the dough onto the lined baking sheet and form two even “logs” with the dough.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and reduce the oven temp to 325. After it cools slightly, spritz the logs lightly with water. Start slicing the log into 3/4 inch thick pieces.
Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
Allow to cool and store in an airtight container. These will keep for several weeks.
Warning: Do not attempt to eat these undunked. Way too crunchy.