I am still slightly uncertain as to why this cookie is not a biscotti. After all, they are both “twice cooked” which is the general translation of biscotti. I’ll concede there is a slight difference in the dough. When I’ve made biscotti, the dough tends to be drier and some light kneading is usually required to get the logs properly formed. The tozzetti batter was much looser and after its first baking, looked more “free form” than traditional biscotti.
But presenting your co-workers with cookies that look like biscotti, while telling them they are not in fact biscotti, makes you feel a little silly.
And yet I’m happy I trusted Bon Appetite’s recipe because, no matter what you call these unassuming crunchy cookies, they are delicious. I’m a sucker for any kind of sweet that goes best with coffee because then you can eat it for breakfast without an ounce of guilt. These were perfect dunked into my morning cup of joe.
Even Deb from Smitten Kitchen gave it a try years ago in mid-December and called the biscotti the perfect antidote to sugary holiday treats. (And yes, I am stealing her name for it because it’s totally true.)
So if you’re like me and the thought of one more chocolate truffle makes you cringe, consider whipping up a batch of these. They are not at all sweet — but they are rich with a hefty kick of spice and full of cheesy flavor. While you could eat them with coffee, these biscotti are better suited for Champagne and lush red wines. They’d be perfect as an hors d’oeuvre at a fancy soiree or paired with an aperitif at a dinner party.
Or, let’s be honest, eaten while standing alone in your kitchen at midnight. No shame here, people.
In a recent post, I mentioned that I had been on a biscotti kick. I baked several different types over the holidays, all sweet, made with sugar and various types of nuts. But in the comment section, thanks to a fellow blogger, I got wind of a different type of biscotti made with cheese and pepper that sounded too intriguing to forget. I love it when things that you expect to be simply sweet are turned into something savoy instead — like the sage macaron I had for lunch today.
I googled the recipe reviews for the link that she gave me (Parmesan and black pepper biscotti) and it sounded like a winner. However, I didn’t happen to have any Parmesan cheese at my house and I had just polished off the last of the pecorino, which is my go-to substitute. But I did, thanks to my stepdad who is also a cheese fanatic, have a huge hunk of two-year aged white cheddar from Wisconsin that was begging to be used in something fun.
I’m sure I could have switched out the cheddar in the original recipe just fine but I thought I’d do some additional internet digging to see what else was out there. And I stumbled upon what seemed like the perfect fit — a recipe from the famed Mark Bittman for Cheddar and Cayenne Biscotti.
I ran to the kitchen so fast, I practically hurt myself!
Somehow biscotti manages to avoid many of the problems that plague regular cookies. When you go to a coffee shop first thing in the morning and pick out a huge chocolate chip cookie for breakfast, you may get a side-eye from the cashier. But a biscotti with your cup of morning joe just seems to make sense. They often have nuts in them (a healthy fat) or contain some sort of dried fruits (a good source of fiber). Why, at that rate, a biscotti is just one step away from a granola bar, which is totally acceptable to eat for the “most important” meal of the day.
But it’s not just in the morning that biscotti dodges the stigma of its sugary brethren. It’s also at the end of a meal when you are so stuffed that you can’t even contemplate looking at a dessert menu. You order a shot of espresso or a small glass of Vin Santo instead but when it comes accompanied by an innocent looking biscotti, you eat it without a second thought. It’s not really a cookie, it’s merely an enhancement for your beverage.