The perfume of cinnamon that will waft through the house is reason enough to make these biscotti. I've long preferred Lazio-style tozzetti to Tuscan cantuccini (softer and more cookie-like). But since the first time I tasted tozzetti ebraici ("Jewish tozzetti") from the bakery in the old ghetto of the Tuscan town of Pitigliano, I've never looked at biscotti the same again.
I've been unable to find similar recipes to refer to, so this is basically a recipe I've devised based on traditional tozzetti, but as I've heard that the tozzetti you find at Rome's famous Jewish bakery, Boccione, are cocoa and cinnamon, I've added both of those ingredients. —Emiko
1 1/4 cups
(250 grams) sugar
(125 milliliters) olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
3 3/4 cups
(470 grams) flour, plus more for dusting
pinch of salt
Unsweetened cocoa powder
(200 grams) whole peeled hazelnuts or almonds, roughly chopped in half
Beat together the eggs and sugar. Add oil and blend until creamy. Add the lemon zest and the dry ingredients (except for the nuts) and combine to form a dough. If it's too sticky to handle, carefully add a little more flour. Add the nuts towards the end. You should have a soft dough.
With floured hands, divide the dough into 6 portions and roll these into 1 inch-thick logs. Place them on 2 baking trays lined with baking paper with plenty of space between them for spreading.
Bake 20 minutes. They should appear dry and cooked and are usually cracked along the top but not browned.
Remove them from the oven, let cool for several minutes. When cool enough to handle, slice with a heavy, sharp knife (not serrated) into 1/2 inch-thick biscotti. Return the biscotti to the oven to dry out ever so slightly, about 5 minutes.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.