Although in plain English these are espresso walnut cookies, they sound so much more sexy when called Biscottini di Caffè e Noce. Suddenly, these elegant little cookies are the sort of things you nibble while caressing a lover’s hand at an outdoor, European cafe. The recipe comes to us from Roberta Roberti. It comes from the dessert edition of her ebook series, Vegetarian Italian: Traditions.
I LOVE the touch of Italian authenticity Roberta’s recipe brings to our collection of Holiday cookies. I also love they the contain one of my favorite aphrodisiac ingredients, coffee. (In this case in the form of espresso.) Roberta notes that the espresso–not drip coffee–is essential to giving the Biscottini di Caffè their depth of flavor.
- 1¼ tablespoons instant espresso
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1½ cups finely chopped walnuts
In a small bowl, combine instant espresso with 1 tablespoon hot water. Stir until completely dissolved. Set aside and let cool.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and dissolved espresso until well mixed.
Stir in flour mixture with a rubber spatula and mix well. When a soft dough begins to form, use your hands to finish blending. Mix in ½ cup nuts.
Cut dough in half. Roll out each piece into logs about 2 inches thick. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until firm, about 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease 2 cookie sheets with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper, and set aside.
With a sharp, thin knife carefully cut logs into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place slices on cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Press equal amounts of remaining walnuts on top of each slice. Bake until firm and lightly browned, about 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Store cookies in a tin or in a cookie jar at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
Note: Dough must chill for at least 4 hours or overnight before baking.
Love this recipe? Get the whole book!
And for more of Roberta’s recipes, check out her latest title, World Party: Vegetarian Appetizers, Hors d’oeuvres and Party Plates
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