Biscotti are cookies, cookies are biscuits and biscuits are biscotti unless you are from the US where a biscuit is a scone …if you are from England. This book concerns itself with small crunchy sweet and decadent treats that go well with a cup of tea, an espresso, a glass of wine or to accompany dessert.
There are 50 or so recipes packed into this attractive little tome. They range from American-traditional to European-classic. Something to suit every taste and occasion. They all have one thing in common: they are moreish. Feel noble though. Some of them do at least contain fruit or nuts and those are health foods, after all.
Cantucci di Prato – almond cornmeal cookies – are based on a recipe from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. This mixture makes around 60 biscuits which will keep in a sealed container for up to a month. Simple ingredients producing cookies with a slight anise flavour.
A cookie that is new to me is Panciale Lima. These are said to be traditionally Roman and they are well worth a try. Their name in English is Fruitcake Bars, but they contain far more nuts than fruit. These would be ideal for Christmas although the recipe suggests that they only have a shelf life of one week. I suspect they might not even last that long.
One of the most practical cookies for giving as a gift must be Biscotti di Miele – Honey Cookies. You will have most of the ingredients in your larder and when baked the finished product will last up to three months in a sealed container. Enjoy these with a glass of dessert wine.
Biscotti Crema d’Arachidi is a very classy title for the ever-popular Peanut Butter Cookie. This recipe lends itself to freezing. Make the dough and store in the freezer for up to one month. Slice the dough logs as needed and serve freshly baked cookies to unexpected guests.
Biscotti – Recipes from the kitchen of the American Academy in Rome offers a remarkable selection of cookies. The recipes can be made for greater numbers by scaling up the quantities, which makes it an interesting book for those with a crowd to feed and little time. Tastefully executed, this volume would be a well-received gift for any baker, be they novice or passionate expert.
Cookbook review: Biscotti – Recipes from the kitchen of the American Academy in Rome
Authors: Mona Talbott and Mirella Misenti
Published by: The Little Bookroom
Price: £9.99, US$18.95, CAN$21.50
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018