Biscotti: plural; singular biscotto; literally translates into ‘double cooked’
Always a welcome addition to any holiday dessert display, these typical Italian cookies are dry and very crunchy. As expected from the double baking, all moisture is removed. The end result… they keep exceptionally well!
Apparently sailors used to take them on long sea voyages – because of their ability to last. Lucky sailors.
Meant to be dunked, whether in espresso or vin santo/sweet wine to end a meal, biscotti add elegance to any occasion.
Helping with the keeping qualities is that they have no butter or oil – the only fat comes from what’s in the egg yolks. Similar to most Italian desserts, they are not sweet at all.
This recipe is from the amazing website: joy of baking – one I’ve consulted successfully for years. Like I’m always saying when you’re looking for new recipes, find trusted sources.
Not just for dessert, but always served with something to dip them in, these Almond Biscotti can be enjoyed any time of day. Afternoon coffee & biscotti break, anyone…!
- 3/4 cup whole almonds
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- few gratings of fresh nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350º and toast almonds for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool, chop coarsely and set aside. Leave your oven on and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until thick, pale, and fluffy - about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla & almond extracts.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt; then add to the egg mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in the chopped almonds.
- Transfer the dough to parchment paper on your counter, and form into a log shape, about 12 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide.
- Place on your parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325º.
- Transfer the log to a cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch slices, either straight across or on the diagonal. Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Stored in an airtight container, these will keep indefinitely.
- *Tip: I subbed in almonds & spices for the dried cranberries & pistachios; I don't like the texture of the dried cranberries after the long baking time.
- **Tip: keeping your fingers slightly moist with water, instead of using flour, will also work when forming the log.