These are so buttery and crisp and with a hint of sweet, they are perfect for dunking in coffee or Vin Santo. Package some up in clear cellophane bags for gift giving or keep them in a cookie jar beside your coffee machine, they won’t last long!
Note: I used stone-ground cornmeal which retains some of the hull and germ, giving it a coarser texture and more interesting flavour.
Cornmeal Currant Biscotti
adapted from Baking with Julia, recipe from Nick Malgieri
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6-8 pieces
1 cup currants
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk (reserve the egg white)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter pieces, and using your fingers, rub the butter and dry ingredients together until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the currants.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and egg yolk with the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until mostly combined. Using your hands, knead the mixture 5 to 10 times in the bowl until the mixture is uniform and holds together. The dough will seem dry compared to other biscotti you may have made. If it doesn’t hold together, add a bit of the reserved egg white and knead a few more times until the dough holds together. Divide the dough in half and, right on the baking sheet, shape each half into a flattened log about 2 inches wide and 1 inch high. Bake the logs for 20 minutes or until the logs start to lightly brown around the edges and is firm when touched lightly with your finger.
Remove from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and let the logs cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Carefully transfer the logs to a large wooden cutting board and slice the logs on a diagonal with a large serrated knife about a 1/2 inch thick. Place the slices back on the baking sheet an bake for an additional 15 minutes. The cookies will become more crisp as they cool. Store in an airtight container up to one month.