The name biscotti is derived from 'bis' meaning twice in Italian and 'cotto' meaning baked or cooked.
Biscotti is said to have originated during Columbus's time and credited to an Italian baker . They became so popular that every province developed their own flavored version. Because of their long storage ability they were an ideal food for sailors, soldiers, and fisherman.
Most European countries have adopted their own version of biscotti: English - rusks, French - biscotte and croquets de carcassonne, Germans - zwieback, Greeks - biskota and paxemadia, Jewish - mandelbrot, and Russians - sukhariki
The sticky dough is first shaped into a 12 inch (30cm) log and baked until firm. After a short cooling period, the log is sliced into diagonal slices and baked again to draw out the moisture thus producing a crisp, dry textured cookie that has a long shelf life. Recipes containing butter or oil will have a softer texture and will not keep as long as the traditional recipes that only use eggs to bind the ingredients together.
-----Joy Of Baking
Finally I made a bakery item from scratch!It is so easy that I wonder why people go and buy it from Starbucks spending 7 Dirhams for each piece!!! I think you can make about 16-20 biscottis at home,with the amount with which u can buy 2 pieces at Starbucks!
Since India was ruled by English,we better know it as Rusk,I ate the most original in shape and taste(the most original has aniseed in it for flavouring) in Delhi, Chandni Chauk, when I went there I was expecting 'kabhi khushi kabhi ghum' type of place,with kajol type gals dancing in it....'banno ki saheli........'
Hey can anybody say this tongue twister in a single go.."Chandu ke chacha ne chandu ki chachi ko,chandni raat mein,chandni chauk mein,chaandi ke chammach se chaashni chataai"
uff.. bollywood has influenced me a lot,much to my husband's chagrin..lol
OK back to the rusk,when we were visiting Delhi, we liked it so much that we brought back dozens of it home,and due to its long shelf life enjoyed it for days..
I made it from the recipe here
You can read on for a novice baker's version:)
3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted and chopped coarsely
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 bar milk chocolate(galaxy,dairy milk,hersheys)chopped or chocolate chips
--blanch and chop the almonds
--chop the chocolate bar into small pieces.
-- preheat oven to 350 F, place the chopped almonds in a baking sheet and toast in oven for about 10 mins(I did not blanch jus chopped it)
--Line the baking sheet with a parchment paper.
--Now in a bowl or tray sift togeather flour,baking powder and salt
-- In bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until thick, pale, and fluffy (about 5 minutes). (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.)
--Slowly add the flour in it,beat till it is mixed well
--Then fold in the chopped almonds and chopped chocolate .
--After a good mixing the mixture will be a sticky cohesive mass,grease ur hands with oil, or better what I did is filled a bowl of water,dipped my hand in the water and brought togeather the dough to a log shape,
--Transfer it to a baking sheet and place in oven at 350F,let it bake till it is firm on touch it will take around 20-30 mins,
--Then take it out and let it cool for sometime,Then slice the log horizontally into thin slices using a serrated knife.
--Now place the slices on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins, then take out and turn over the slices and again bake for another 10 mins or until crisp and golden in color
P.S: Sorry for the unclear pictures,the pictures are taken from my mobile, as my camera has gone on a business trip with my husband to Finland,on his way back he is going to stop over at Zurich :(
I asked him to get a cowbell from there, the one Kajol buys from ZUrich in DDLJ....oh again see what bollywood has done to me!