“Each day across the globe, approximately 1.6 billion cups of coffee are consumed ... as I’ve traveled the world over the past decade, I’ve also seen how important coffee is on the smallest, most human level.”—Candace Rose Rardon.

Coffee holds a cultural, historical and social place in the hearts of drinkers worldwide. It plays a major role in the global economy as the second most traded commodity in the world after oil.

Author and travel writer Candace Rose Rardon returns to her best-selling Stuff You Should Know series to discuss this multifaceted world of coffee culture in Stuff Every Coffee Lover Should Know (2021, Quirk Books). Designed with coffee enthusiasts in mind, both connoisseurs or casual fans, this pocket-sized guide walks readers through everything from coffee terms and French press brewing methods to coffee traditions around the world and even resources like an ethical coffee guide. 

Biscotti

Also known as cantucci in Italy, biscotti are traditional Italian cookies typically flavored with anise or almonds. From the Latin word biscoctus, meaning “twice cooked,” biscotti are baked twice, which gives them the hard, crunchy texture that seems made for dunking in our morning coffee.

The best part is how easily biscotti can be customized with different flavors and ingredients.

Experiment with adding chopped nuts, dried fruit, spices or citrus zest. Drizzle cooled biscotti with melted chocolate for extra flair and sweetness.

 

1 cup of granulated sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon almond, anise, or vanilla extract

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

 

Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, eggs, oil and extract. Beat mixture until well blended.

In another bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together, then add them to the egg mixture, stirring until incorporated.

Pour dough onto prepared baking sheet. Divide into halves and shape each piece into a flat log about 1/2-inch thick.

The logs should be roughly the same size, so they cook evenly, and spaced a few inches apart (the dough will expand during baking).

Bake logs for 25-30 minutes. When they are golden brown, remove them from the oven (keep oven on) and let cool on the baking sheet for about 20 minutes.

When they are cool to the touch, use a serrated knife to cut the logs crosswise into diagonal slices about 1/2 inch thick.

Lay the slices on their cut side onto the baking sheet and return them to the oven for the second baking.

Bake slices for 6-10 minutes on each side, or until they’re dry, crispy, and golden brown.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies; if stored properly in an airtight container, biscotti keep and freeze well.

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