This is a simple recipe, yet delicious recipe for Italian "biscotti" (biscuits or, if you like, cookies). This type of dough is called "pastafrolla", which means "crumbly dough". It's similar to shortbread, but the proportions of the ingredients are different; the resulting cookies are perfect to dunk in milk, as they break easily and absorb liquids very quickly. We Italians love to dunk cookies in milk, it's actually one of the most common types of breakfast, together with cappuccino and croissant. Note that, if you don't like milk, you can eat them with tea, coffee, or even by themselves, they are simply great!
- 500 g of Plain Flour
- 50 g of Potato Starch (gives the dough a lighter texture. If you don't have it, simply skip it)
- 150 g of Icing Sugar
- 100 g of Butter (I recommend to leave it a room temperature for a while to make it softer)
- 100 g of Margarine (choose a good quality margarine suitable for baking)
- 1 egg
- 5 tbsp of fresh cream
- 1 sachet of vanillin sugar (approximately 10 g)
- 1 sachet of baking powder (approximately 15 g. Don't use baking soda or yeast, only baking powder suitable for cakes)
- A pinch of salt (you can skip it if your butter is salted)
- Large bowl
- Scale, to measure the quantities
- Baking trays covered with baking paper
- Rolling pin
- Cling film
- Cookie shape or a small glass
- In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients, i.e. flour, potato starch, icing sugar, baking powder and vanillin sugar.
- Cut the butter in small dices (it's easier to mix it) and add it to the mixture.
- Add the margarine.
- Knead everything with your hands; don't worry if you'll get lumps, simply break them and keep kneading.
- When all ingredients are mixed, add the egg and the cream. Keep kneading until you obtain a smooth "ball".
- Cover the bowl with cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit)
- With a rolling pin, flatten the dough to a thickness of approximately 5 mm. Don't worry if it seems very thick, it's normal. To make the job simpler, split the dough in small pieces and roll them one by one.
- Using a cookie shape (preferably round, but any shape would do), or a small glass, cut out the cookies and lay them on a tray covered with baking paper. It's important to lay them so that there's some distance between them, as they'll grow in the oven and could stick to each other.
- Put the trays in the oven for approximately 10 minutes. Take them out when their borders become golden brown, it's important that you don't bake them for too long or they'll get too dry.
- Allow the cookies to cool down at room temperature before removing them from the tray, as they can break easily when they are hot.
- Done! Enjoy your creation with a cup of milk (warm or cold)!
Store the cookies into an airtight container, in a cool and dry place. Properly stored, they will last several days.