I bought myself an early Christmas present. My husband hates that I do this, but it happens every year. I find something I really want, tell him to put it on his list, and then go out and buy it myself because I CAN’T WAIT!
I’ve been wanting an espresso machine of my very own, ever since I was 17 and fresh out of high school, learning how to pull the perfect crema at my job in a bookstore cafe.
And I’ll be honest–I don’t care for most of the chain coffee shops. Not naming any names! So, since my favorite indie cafes don’t have drive thru windows, I’m only able to indulge as an occasional treat. I’ve been wanting something I can use to whip up an espresso drink on my way out the door in the mornings, or to satisfy an after-dinner jonesing without leaving my house. I finally found the perfect one, and I brought it home to love it and squeeze it and name it George. Or Giorgio, since he’s Italian after all. And what goes perfectly with a rich, handcrafted cappuccino? Biscotti, of course!
These crunchy cookies are commonly dipped into coffee drinks to soften them, but they are equally good dunked in milk, tea, or even red wine (try it!)
They are twice-baked so they are a bit labor intensive, but since they’re very dry they will keep for a week or more. And what’s better than baking on a cold day?
The recipe below is very versatile–you can add different types of nuts (pine nuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios would be amazing!), spices, extracts, chocolate chips…the sky is the limit. My absolute favorite thing to do is use very good full flavored olive oil, pistachios, and some orange zest. Totes amaze. They would make a beautiful presentation in a pretty paper box or cute jar, as a Christmas gift. Make up a batch of two or three flavors, to share or keep!
Photo Credit: Peter Stevens