I had some mates round last week for morning coffee. We get together about twice a month in different homes and this time they were coming to me. I was dying to show off my new coffee machine and decided I needed some biscuits to put on the table while we chatted. I decided to be a little International and bake biscotti biscuits. These are twice baked biscuits also known as cantuccini or coffee bread. They originated in Prato, Italy. The first documented recipe is in a centuries old manuscript that is preserved in Prato; in it the biscuits were called Genoa. Modern day recipes are in the main based on Chef Antonio Mattei recipe after the rediscovery of the original recipe in the nineteenth century.
Biscotti were designed to be dunked in a drink be it wine or coffee. The biscuits are normally oblong shaped and cooked once in slab form and then re-cooked after cutting. I searched for some New Zealand variations and found this one for apricot and pistachio, which is great as I love both those ingredients. These biscotti I made gluten free for a couple of my guests and they were much appreciated. Not wanting to be boring and only offer one type I also made Biscotti with hazelnuts. These were delicious and flavoured with orange zest but the one voted the favourite was the chocolate biscotti and I will certainly make them again. The coffee machine was duly admired and at least one of my mates is going to buy the same one – yea excellent coffee when we go to her house.