Biscotti, you may know, means twice cooked. And these popular Italian cookies boast historical roots dating to the Roman times. Biscotti were a popular road food among travelers during that period, thanks to their long shelf life. These days you’re more likely to see people dunking biscotti in a cup of espresso or a glass of the Italian dessert wine Vin Santo.
We’ve got several excellent biscotti recipes. Take your pick from among biscotti made with: almonds; almonds and anise; almonds and figs; or walnuts and pears. All are made using extra virgin olive oil. There’s even a vegan biscotti that doesn’t use eggs.
Any of these biscotti would be great dunked in a glass of Vin Santo … or drizzled with our freshly pressed Limited Reserve EVOO.
Vegan pastry chef Fran Costigan initially used a “neutral” oil like canola oil for these biscotti, which appear in her excellent book, More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally (Book Publishing Co., 2006). “I decided to try EVOO and thought the Arbequina, with its almond notes, worked beautifully,” Fran told us. “And because these are made with whole wheat pastry flour, heart healthy almonds and EVOO, and without any refined sugar, you really can feel good about enjoying these not-too-sweet, not-too-hard biscotti any time of the day, including breakfast.” (Click here to go to recipe.)
Dessert guru Alice Medrich told us these biscotti, featured in the photo at the top, “have a delicate crumbly cakiness in contrast with the hard dry crunch of more rustic biscotti.” She noted the olive oil flavor “becomes more pronounced over a few days, so do make them ahead.” This recipe was adapted from the one that appears in Alice’s highly acclaimed book, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies (Artisan, 2010). (Click here to go to recipe.) We also owe a special thanks to the food blog Bon Eats, which let us use the photo of Alice’s biscotti.
Alice Medrich developed these biscotti for our annual Harvest Retreat, where we give chefs and culinary professionals a first-hand look at our mill and olive groves during the fall harvest. They were delicious. “These tender cornmeal biscotti celebrate the bounty of California with olive oil, walnuts and dried pears,” Alice told us. She also noted these biscotti are “extra irresistible with a last minute drizzle” of our Limited Reserve EVOO and a few flakes of sea salt. (Click here to go to recipe.)
This recipe comes to us by way of EVOO lover Carol Firenze, author of The Passionate Olive (Ballantine Books, 2005). Carol herself got this recipe from her mother, Gigi. “She makes wonderful biscotti. About 20 years ago she started using olive oil instead of butter,” Carol told us. Gigi also taught Carol about cooking and baking with olive oil instead of butter. (Click here to go to recipe.)
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch