If you like vanilla in its purest form, you'll adore these vanilla bean biscotti. They're sweet and crispy, and they're fantastic with a cup of steaming coffee or tea. I like to dip one end of each in melted white chocolate, which adds a touch of decadence without overpowering the vanilla flavour. In this recipe, I use and recommend vanilla sugar. You will not be sorry!
Biscotti have a crunchy texture to them. They won't break your teeth as long as you don't overbake them. The middle is crumbly in all the right places and melts in your tongue, especially when dipped in your favourite warm beverage. Slow cooker hot chocolate, in my opinion, would be a fantastic match!
Vanilla vanilla vanilla is the flavour. Each mouthful tasted like vanilla cake, although it wasn't as sweet. (They're sweet, but not quite as sweet as cake.) Though plain granulated sugar can be used to make the biscotti, I recommend using vanilla sugar. I could preach its virtues all day, but I'll keep it brief: why use ordinary sugar when vanilla sugar is available? In basic recipes like this, it makes a tremendous difference in flavour.
Ease: Biscotti are twice-baked cookies, yet they don't require any more effort. They may appear difficult, but the method is actually rather straightforward, and my step-by-step images below will assist you. There are no special instruments necessary, and a mixer is not required.
Time: There is no need to chill the cookie dough, and the ingredients do not need to be brought to room temperature first. If you wanted to, you could begin right now. That's fantastic!
Step-by-Step Vanilla Bean Biscotti
Prepare your oven by preheating it. There's no need to chill the dough this time, so you can get the oven going straight away. You'll bake two trays of biscotti at once, but if your oven isn't big enough, you can bake them in batches.
Begin making the dough. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. I find that 1 teaspoon of baking powder is plenty to give the cookies some lift while yet keeping them dense and crispy. Cut in cold, cubed butter with a pastry cutter or fork until the dough is crumbly. Take a look at the photo on the left. It was as simple as that. After that, add the wet ingredients. Combine the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Pour the flour/butter mixture over top.
Toss the ingredients together with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. It'll be a crumbly disaster. Don't overthink it or overwork it! Pour it out onto a floured work surface as follows:
Form the dough into a ball with lightly greased palms. Knead (fold) the dough multiple times to achieve this. I promise the crumbly mess will come together if you followed the recipe. Half-cut the ball.
Directly on lined baking pans, flatten both halves into slabs. You'll need 8-9 inch long slabs that are 1/2 inch thick apiece.
Brush with an egg wash made from 1 egg and a little milk. If you don't have a pastry brush, spoon a small amount of sauce onto each slab and spread it around to coat. See how many little vanilla bean flecks there are in the dough? Flavor!
Biscotti are cookies that have been baked twice. Remove the dough slabs from the oven when lightly browned, then cut them into 8-9 1 inch broad slices. Return the slices to the oven (cut sides up) on the baking sheets. Bake for an additional 16 minutes, flipping each cookie after 8 minutes.
You've completed the task! The vanilla biscotti are crunchy right out of the oven, but as they cool, they get even crunchier. A white chocolate dip is completely optional, but it adds a nice touch, especially if you're serving these as dessert.