These Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Biscotti get their flavor from hazelnut liqueur & toasted hazelnuts! Plus, I’m sharing the real definition of “biscotti” and some step-by-step photos to make them.
I learned the hard way the word “biscotti” means something different to English-speaking people than it does to native Italians. (Stay tuned for one of my embarrassing stories.) In America, “biscotti” refers to twice-baked crunchy cookies, such as these Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Biscotti. (Yum!)
But “biscotti” is an Italian word that simply means “cookies” — regardless of the style or how many times they’ve been baked. It’s similar to the English word “biscuits.” I guess, somewhere along the line, somebody botched the translation. The Italian word for the type of cookies I’m sharing today is actually “cantuccini,” referring to Tuscan cookies that usually have almonds in them and are dipped in Vin Santo wine.
Now that we’ve got our linguistics lesson out of the way, I need to tell you Mom always used the word “biscotti” to refer to her Italian Cookies, which are often flavored with anise or vanilla and have glaze and sprinkles. Can you see where this is going? Are you getting a hint of the culinary confusion that would cause me to humiliate myself on the job, while planning a dinner for donors to a world-class orchestra?
Well, let me tell you about it. Thanks to growing up in an Italian bubble — picture one with green, white and red vertical stripes, and my face peering out from the center — 26-year-old me told the caterer to put out trays of biscotti for dessert…at a sit-down dinner…before an orchestra concert…in the fanciest of performance halls.
I was picturing well-heeled guests, perhaps with pinkies in the air, reaching for dainty, frosted cookies. I wasn’t planning for attendees in concert attire to have to dunk their biscotti in coffee to avoid breaking their teeth. So, I marched up to the caterer.
“I ordered biscotti!” I hissed, sotto voce (in a quiet voice).
“Those are biscotti,” she retorted.
“I meant the soft ones, with the glaze and sprinkles…” my voice trailed off as the caterer stared at me like I had three heads (#Italianproblems). Cue The Twilight Zone music.
I was so mortified, I’ve never told that story to another soul. Not even Mom. It seems fitting to share it on the Internet now. We’re all friends here, right?
See, I made Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Biscotti for you. Here are some step-by-step photos of the process.
I added Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) to the batter, but you can substitute a teaspoon or two of almond extract, if you wish. Just don’t skip the step of toasting the hazelnuts in the oven. It’s necessary to bring out the flavor.
And, I dipped the cookies in chocolate —some in dark chocolate and some in white chocolate. But, they’re good plain too. Just don’t forget to dunk your biscotti in coffee (so good together!) or hot chocolate, or even cold milk, if that’s your thing. I don’t want anyone to break a tooth. (Just kidding, but they’ll be dry otherwise.)
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C)