Cookies

Sweet Vanilla Bean Biscotti

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!

Tell me about Biscotti with Vanilla Beans.

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.



Ingredients
  • . 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface + hands
  • . 1 cup (200g) vanilla sugar or granulated sugar* (see note before starting)
  • . 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • . 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • . 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed, 3 large eggs
  • . 1 Tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
  • . 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • . egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk, optional: two 4 ounce (226g) white chocolate bars, coarsely chopped
Directions
  • 01.Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  • 02.Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the 3 eggs, oil, and vanilla extract together. Pour into the flour/butter mixture and gently mix together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until everything is just barely moistened. It will be very crumbly, see photo above for a visual.
  • 03.Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and with floured hands, knead lightly until the dough is soft and slightly sticky, about 8-10 times. If it’s sticking all over your hands, knead 1-2 more Tablespoon(s) of flour into the dough. Divide the dough in two and place each half onto a baking sheet. Shape each half into an 8-9 inch long slab, patting down until each is about 1/2 inch thick. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top and sides of each biscotti slab with egg wash.
  • 04.Bake in batches (or together) for 25-26 minutes, or until the top and sides of the biscotti slabs are lightly browned. Remove from the oven, but do not turn off the heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Once the slabs are cool enough to handle, cut each into 1 inch wide slices. Set slices cut sides upright, ¼ inch apart, on the baking sheets. (It’s tricky to set the end slices upright, so just turn them over.) Return to the oven to continue baking for 8 minutes. Turn biscotti over and bake other side for 8 minutes. The cookies will be slightly soft in the centers with harder edges.
  • 05.Remove from the oven and cool the biscotti for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before dipping in white chocolate. The biscotti becomes more and more crunchy as it cools. It’s helpful to save the baking sheets for the next step.
  • 06.Optional White Chocolate: Melt the chopped white chocolate in a double boiler or carefully use the microwave. For the microwave, place the white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Dip each cookie in the melted chocolate and place back onto the baking sheets. Allow chocolate to set in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  • 07.Biscotti stays fresh covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
+