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Fruit and nut biscotti

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Tastes Like Home

(Read caption) Biscotti are a traditional twice-baked Italian cookie. They come in all flavors, and are perfect as an after-lunch treat, a snack, or a companion to your coffee.

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Though I do not have a sweet-tooth, every now and then I like to have some sweet baked item with my tea in the afternoon or evening. And based on last week’s column, you know that I like it to be something that can be dipped or dunked.

A biscotti proves to be the ideal thing to have on hand for such occasions; more importantly, I like that a biscotti can be around whenever youf eel like having one because they can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks.

Biscotti are Italian twice-baked cookies or some would say biscuits depending on their interpretation of the word biscuit. Biscotti di Prato originated int he Italian city of Prato. The dough, crumbly and sticky when mixed, is first formed into logs, baked and then cut into 1/2-inch slices while still hot and baked again until dry and crisp.

These cookie-biscuits were first sought after for long journeys and wars back in the day because they could be stored for long periods and were considered non-perishable food.

Today, biscotti still have a long shelf life; a homemade batch can last for two weeks at room temperature and longer yet at cooler temperatures. I like to keep it simple with some dried fruit and almonds.Sometimes I add freshly grated coconut, this results in a shorter shelf life due to the coconut being fresh with its oils, however, I never have to worry about that because the coconut biscotti are gone in no time.

One of the other things that I like about homemade biscotti is that it is not overly sweet as some desserts and baked items can be. With biscotti on hand, having people over for tea or coffee is never a bother. Ready to give it a try?

Fruit and nut biscotti
Yields 14–16

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt 

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