Biscuit in English, biscotti in Italian, mandelbrot in German and kamish brot in Ukrainian – all are versions of the same twice-baked cookie. Though now associated with a frothy cappuccino, biscotti date back to ancient times, and because they were flat, dry, and twice baked, they kept well, making them the perfect sustenance for travelers, soldiers, and sailors. Roman legions partook of the biscuits, while the Roman scholar Pliny claimed that “Parthian bread” would keep for centuries. Under Louis XIV the biscuits were known as “stone bread.”
The name biscotti stems from the Latin “bis” meaning twice, and “coctus” meaning cooked – literally means “twice cooked.” The cookies often contain nuts as reflected in the German variety, mandelbrot, where “mandel” means almond, and “brodt” means bread. Mandelbrot, is of Germanic heritage and is traditionally associated with Eastern European Jews.
Biscotti, mandelbrot, or kamish brot, whatever the nationality, these little treasures are tasty with coffee, tea, or even a glass of wine.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted unsalted pistachios
- 1 cup bittersweet not unsweetened chocolate chips
- Extra Flour for kneading dough
- 1 cup chopped roasted unsalted pistachios
- 8 oz. dark chocolate melted and cooled
- Mix dries in a large bowl. Add nuts and chocolate chips to dries and stir.
- In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil, and vanilla and mix well. Add egg mixture to dries and mix well.
- Place dough on floured board and knead until smooth and no longer sticky. (The dough will seem very sticky and oily at first.)
- Divide dough into equal thirds and shape each into a log about 10 to 12 inches long and 2-3 inches in diameter.
- Press down on the logs to flatten just slightly into ovals. Can bake immediately or refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and cut each log into 1/2 to 3/4-inch slices on the diagonal.
- Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes longer. Cool on the pan before separating slices.
- When cookies are completely cooled, dip them in the melted chocolate and sprinkle chopped pistachios over the chocolate immediately.
- Allow chocolate to harden before storing in an airtight container.