Biscotti originated in Italy, where they are traditionally served with coffee. They are a very firm cookie, so they can be dunked into a hot drink without going all soggy. I think they’re lovely to serve on a cold day when you are with friends, or at home by yourself enjoying a peaceful moment with a large cup of hot coffee.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture and stir in the eggs, vanilla and coffee essence until the mixture starts to come together and form clumps, then put down the spoon and bring the dough together in a ball with your hands. With lightly floured hands, roll the dough into a long sausage shape, about 30cm long and 5cm wide. Lift the shaped dough onto the lined baking sheet and press it down gently until it is about 1.5cm high.
Using a bread knife, cut the biscotti sausage diagonally into 1cm-thick slices. Biscotti are quite crumbly so it is best to use a sharp serrated knife.
Line the baking sheet with fresh baking parchment and arrange the biscotti on top.
Remove the baked biscotti from the oven and leave to cool completely. You could pack them into boxes or cellophane bags tied with a pretty ribbon to make great gifts, or store in an airtight tin for up to a month. Serve with a nice warm drink.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.