Fig and Walnut Cantucci

Fig and Walnut Biscotti

Crunchy, flavorful biscotti made with no oil nor butter. Sweet tooth holiday saver!

Many people are confused on what is the difference between cookies and biscotti. Let’s try to clear this out once and for all.

Biscotti is the plural form of biscotto. The word originates from the medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning “twice-cooked”. It characterized oven-baked goods that were baked twice, so they became very dry and could be stored for long periods of time. Such non-perishable food was particularly useful during journeys and wars, and twice-baked breads were a staple food of the Roman legions.

The mixture is composed exclusively of flour, sugar, eggs and almonds that are not roasted or skinned. The traditional recipe uses no form of fat (butter, oil, milk). The barely wet dough is then cooked twice: once in slab form, and again after cutting in sliced form, with the second baking defining how hard the biscotti are. Nowadays there are many variations to the traditional recipe with use walnuts, pistachios or other nuts and add dry fruits or chocolate.

Cookies, instead, are a baked food that is small, flat and sweet. It usually contains flour, sugar and some type of oil or fat. It may include other ingredients such as raisins, oats, chocolate chips, nuts, etc. In most English-speaking countries except for the US and Canada, crisp cookies are called biscuits. Chewier biscuits are sometimes called cookies even in the UK. Some cookies may also be named by their shape, such as date squares or bars.[1]

What I share with you today is a traditional recipe for biscotti which uses walnuts instead of almonds and get extra sweetness from dry figs. Try them with your morning cup of coffee or afternoon tea πŸ™‚

Ingredients (makes 10 pieces):

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dry figs
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 180 C. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until they’re pale yellow and hold a ribbon for 1 second when whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Fold egg mixture into flour mixture until combined

Chop up the figs and walnuts and fold them in

Use the dough to form a piece of 2 1/2-inch-wide log

Bake until dough is firm but gives slightly when pressed, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let logs cool 10 minutes.

Cut each log on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices (1 cm);

Place slices, cut side up, on sheet. Bake 7 minutes, flip biscotti, and bake 7 minutes more.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Store them in a jar or air-tight container.

Try dip them into vinsanto, which is a sweet red wine! To die for πŸ˜‰



[1]   Source: Wikipedia

About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.