ITALIAN BISCOTTI (Biscuit Cookies)
For most Americans, a biscuit (biscotto in Italian) is a small, soft bun that is more of
a bread than a pastry. In Italian, biscotto is "a generic term for small, sweet, dry,
crumbly and simply made pastries baked at length in the oven." Originally, the
biscotto was pane biscotto or "twice-cooked bread," which was usually savory and
not sweet. In relatively recent years, the American word "cookie" has been applied
to the sweet versions.
Biscuits or biscotti were and perhaps in some cases still are baked twice. The
objective was the elimination of as much moisture as possible, which increased the
keeping capacity of the biscuits. These twice-cooked breads were essential
provisions for ships on long cruises and their production was centered, therefore,
on regions with strong maritime interests like the Italian cities of Venice and Genoa.
However, biscuits are such handy items that they can be found in most households
in all parts of the country.
Biscotti are oblong, thick, brittle cookies designed to be dipped in coffee, cocoa, or
wine. Originally from Italy, "biscotti" translates as "twice baked" because the cookies
must be baked long enough to make them dry and crunchy. Although traditionally
almond flavored to complement dunks in a glass of red wine, now biscotti have
multiplied with exotic flavors and creative additives.
The first biscotti emerged from an Italian countryside full of vineyards. They used
abundant almonds to flavor a cookie that was so dry and crunchy, it wasn't apt to
turn stale before they could dip in it wine. Soon, other European countries adapted
the twice-baked recipes to their own favorite spices and special ingredients.
Recently, the increase in popularity of coffee drinks has spurred the proliferation of
many new kinds of biscotti. A dunk in a warm beverage softens the cookie and
makes it easier to chew.
Rather than almonds, Italian biscotti might contain chopped walnuts, cashews,
pistachios or hazelnuts. Chocolate slivers, carob chips, or dried cranberries and
cherries might dot a cookie flavored with spices such as ginger, cinnamon, anise, or
vanilla. Even more decadent Italian biscotti, perhaps with orange zest or mint, are
coated in white chocolate or caramel icing.
Baking Italian biscotti is relatively straightforward. A basic recipe includes flour,
sugar, eggs, and sometimes butter, along with any nuts, spices, or fruits that suit
your fancy. The dough is formed into one square loaf about an inch thick, which is
baked similarly to a scone. When it has baked to a normal cookie consistency, the
log is removed from the oven and cut diagonally into the familiar biscotti shape:
round on one end and straight on the other. Now, the slices are arranged flat on a
cookie sheet and baked again to make them crisp.
Italian biscotti can be bought singly or in batches at specialty coffee shops and
bakeries for your immediate enjoyment. They also make creative gifts. As a party
favor, you could individually wrap these treats in clear cellophane and tie them with
a silk ribbon. The lucky recipient can peek at a pistachio biscotti speckled with green
sprinkles for St. Patrick's Day, or a raspberry one coated in cherry frosting for
Valentine's Day. When you take their baking into your own hands, the possibilities
Amaretti are a distinctive small cookies (in Italian amaretti means "a tiny bit bitter"),
when the delicious almond liqueur Amaretto was invented, amaretti incorporated this
taste. Amaretti today lend special enjoyment after meals to tables all around the
world, and are especially delicious when dipped in red wine.
Our delicious Cantuccini Biscuit (in Italian biscotto, bis cotto, twice cooked) are an
ancient Tuscan specialty made from genuine ingredients, and are the perfect
partner for those special moments of the day and when enjoying the company of
friends or family. They are first cooked in the shape of French bread, then they are
cut into thin slices and put into the oven again to brown till they become dry and
hard. Cantuccini are enjoyed at the end of a meal, they can be dipped in sweet wine
(Vin Santo), coffee, milk or eaten on their own as a delicacy!!!
The producing company in Italy, Sapori - was founded in 1832. Today Sapori is a
leading trademark of Tuscan specialties. The excellent heritage of this company is
most certainly its close bond with its homeland, a respect for the natural
environment and a love of authentic, genuine things, all of which have enabled it to
evolve over the years in order to satisfy the request of an increasingly more
The secret lies in its incomparable experience of pastry-making, its faith in the
original, home recipes and in its careful selection of ingredients, so that its delicious,
fragrant delicacies have become the all-time stars of typical, Italian confectionary.
|...Umbria, Tuscany, Veneto...
ITALIAN GOURMET FOODS: Sapori Cantuccini, Sapori Amaretti
Sapori Cantuccini and Amaretti are an ancient specialty from Tuscany made from
genuine ingredients, and are the perfect partner for those special moments of the
day and when enjoying the company of friends or family. Made in Tuscany, ITALY
|Traditional Italian Biscotti
Cantuccini by Sapori di Siena
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