Summer desserts should showcase the bounty of the fruit that only these sun filled months can bring, am I right? Local berries, stone fruits, and melons are at their peak of perfection to enjoy and the possibilities are just endless. One of my go to summer desserts is Strawberries with Prosecco, on a steamy day after a long dinner there is nothing better. Deep ripe strawberries bathed in lemon scented slightly sweetened Prosecco Il Colle.
But sometimes you want a bit of crunch to nibble alongside your Strawberries with Prosecco, nothing too imposing, something crisp and delicately flavored. A nice cookie as Mio Marito’s grandmother would say, would be perfect.
Perfumed with the scents of an Italian summer these biscotti use olive oil rather than butter. Ingredients that grow together go together as the saying goes, makes sense no? Pine nuts, rosemary and lemon peel compliment the olive oil just as they do in nature. The combination of all purpose and almond flour give the biscotti just the right texture and additional flavor.
The procedure is quite straightforward as it is with all biscotti recipes. The prepared dough should be shaped, wrapped and allowed to rest in the refrigerator to firm up where it will also absorb the essential oils from the lemon peel and chopped rosemary. The citrusy smell of the lemon while the biscotti are baking is absolutely intoxicating – so be warned.
Of course you don’t need to make Olive Oil Biscotti Scented with Lemon & Rosemary only when serving Strawberries with Prosecco. They are wonderful any time of year with an espresso, cup of tea, or Vin Santo.
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- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Finely grated peel of 2 large lemons
- 1½ Tbs of finely chopped rosemary needles
- 1 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Combine the flours, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and stir with a whisk until the dry ingredients are well combined.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil,sugar, lemon peel and rosemary to the work bowl of a standing mixer and place the mixer on medium speed to start. Slowly increase the speed to medium high until the sugar is dissolved, add the vanilla and continue to beat until the mixture is almost a soft paste like consistency.
- Stop the mixer and add the eggs, one at a time beating for one minute each time, Scrape down the bowl after the addition of each egg.
- Remove the work bowl from the stand and add ¾ of the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing with a large wooden spoon or spatula until no traces of white appear.
- Combine the remaining ¼ of the dry ingredients with the the pine nuts - combine well.
- Stir the pine nut mixture into the batter until the pine nuts are evenly distributed and there is no trace of the dry ingredients.
- Lay three lengths of plastic wrap on the counter, each about 15” in length.
- Have a rimmed baking sheet close at hand.
- Divide the biscotti dough into three and form a long log in the center of each length of plastic wrap. This dough is a bit sticky and it often helps to have a bowl of cold water nearby to wet your fingers while you are forming the logs.
- Wrap the logs well with the plastic wrap, set on the rimmed baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
- Baking: Preheat the oven toe 350º, and position two of the racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Remove the refrigerated biscotti logs from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before baking. Line two room temperature baking sheets with parchment paper. Carefully transfer the wrapped logs to the parchment lined baking sheets, 2 on one sheet and the 3rd on the second. Maintain a distance of 4” to 5” between the two logs. Remove the plastic wrap and place the baking sheets into the preheated oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325º. At this point reposition the sheets to evenly brown the biscotti logs and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the logs are golden.
- Remove the trays to a rack and allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 275º.
- Once cool, take one log at a time and place on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife slice the logs on the diagonal into ¾ inch biscotti. Often I find it easier to using a pressing motion with the knife rather than a sawing motion as the biscotti are brittle. Placed the cut biscotti back on the parchment lined baking sheets and toast for 12 to 15 minutes or until the sides of the biscotti are dry. Remove from the oven and cool completely before storing.