Not Your Grandmother’s Treats for the Season
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.
Crush peppercorns with mortar and pestle until coarsely ground, or blast in a spice grinder.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 2 ¼ cups cheese and 1 tablespoon ground black pepper in a large bowl. Blend in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk 3 eggs with milk; add to flour mixture, stirring with a fork until a soft dough forms.
Divide dough into quarters. Using well-floured hands, form each piece into a slightly flattened 12-inch-long log, about 2 inches wide and ¾-inch high. Transfer logs to 2 ungreased baking sheets, about 3 inches apart.
Whisk remaining egg and brush over logs, then sprinkle tops with remaining ¼ cup cheese and ½ tablespoon ground pepper. Bake until logs are pale golden and firm, about 30 minutes. Cool on sheets on a rack until warm, about 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
Carefully transfer 1 warm log to a cutting board and cut diagonally into ½-inch-thick slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining logs, transferring slices to sheets. Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool biscotti on baking sheets on racks.
*Gifting tip: Pack into bow-tied cellophane bags with your favorite soup recipe - try our go-to Rosemary Butternut Squash Bisque