Northern Lazio, around Viterbo

The best recipes come from the major hazelnut producing towns of Vallerano, Vignanello and Caprarola.  These are true twice cooked (biscuit in English comes from the French bis cuit which means twice cooked – In Italian Biscotti).  Usually they are  served at the end of a meal with a glass of the local DOC sweet desert wine Aleatico di Gradoli.

1 kg Flour

200 ml of olive oil

6 eggs

600 g sugar

600 g shelled hazelnuts, toasted, the skins rubbed off and roughly chopped (the pieces should be quite large)

½ teaspoon baking powder or bicarbonate of soda or 1 envelope of raising powder (sold here)

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Extra Egg for brushing

Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F

  1. Mix the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the olive oil, the raising agent, the lemon rind, toasted hazelnuts to the bowl.
  3. Slowly add the flour a little at a time and knead into a soft dough.
  4. Shape the dough into long rolls, 2 cm high and 10 cm wide and place them onto a greased and floured oven tray.  Brush with beaten egg.
  5. Bake in the oven until just golden, about 20 – 25 minutes.
  6. Before they are completely cool cut them into 2 cm slices on the diagonal.
  7. Return them to the oven for a further 6 – 10 minutes until they are very crunchy and crisp.

These biscuits will keep for a long time in an airtight tin.  But I bet you eat them very quickly.


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