1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, sugar, tomato powder or paste, cheese, herbs, baking powder and salt until well-combined and fairly smooth.

  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl midway through.

  4. Mix in the flour until you have a cohesive dough. Add the nuts, mixing until they're well-distributed throughout the dough.

  5. Transfer the dough to a work surface (we don't bother to flour the surface; the dough is sticky, but is easily scraped up with a bench knife or dough scraper).

  6. Divide it into three fairly equal pieces, and shape each piece into a rough 10" log.

  7. Transfer each log to the baking sheet, leaving about 3" between each log. Wet your fingers, and pat the logs into smooth-topped rectangles 10" long x 2 1/2" wide x 7/8" thick.

  8. Bake the logs for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're beginning to brown around the edges.

  9. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool for 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.

  10. Gently transfer the logs to a cutting surface, and use a serrated knife to cut them on the diagonal into 1/2" wide slices.

  11. Because of the nuts and the nature of the dough, the biscotti at this point are prone to crumbling; just be sure to use a slow, gentle sawing motion, and accept the fact that some bits and pieces will break off.

  12. Carefully transfer the slices, cut sides up (and down) to a parchment-lined (makes cleanup easier) or ungreased baking sheet. You can crowd them together, as they won't expand further; about 1/4" breathing space is all that's required.

  13. Return the biscotti to the 300°F oven, and bake them for 20 minutes.

  14. Remove them from the oven, quickly turn them over, and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until they're very dry and beginning to brown. Remove them from the oven, cool completely, and store in an airtight container.

Tips from our Bakers

  • For the herbs, you can use a single herb or combination of rosemary, basil, parsley and/or oregano.
  • Pecans, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts can be toasted. Pistachios don't need to be toasted. Pine nuts — if you can afford to use them, they're wonderful — toast very quickly, so reduce the oven time and keep a sharp eye on them.