Monday, November 29, 2010

Almond Biscotti

After a day full of savory eats (day? let's face it, it was a whole week), I had a hankering for something sweet and not too heavy. Since my dad also likes biscotti, I decided to give it a go in his favorite flavor, almond.

Biscotti means twice baked in Italian. The first baking will leave it moist in the middle. The second baking will get the crunchy texture you'd expect from biscotti. While  traditional biscotti does not have fat in it, this recipe has a slight cookie quality because of the butter.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit's Anise-Almond Biscotti.
Makes 3 dozen biscotti (I yielded about 2 dozen depending on thickness)

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs (let warm to room temperature!)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used almond instead of vanilla)
2 teaspoons aniseed, ground (I skipped this)
1 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped

1 large egg white for the egg wash

If you're an inexperienced baker like me, then don't forget to let your eggs and butter come to room temp before mixing them! Otherwise your melted butter will freeze up in your cold eggs. Even with that error, the biscotti turned out ok. Now, back to the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350F. Set rack in middle. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In first mixing bowl, measure out dry ingredients - flour, salt, baking powder. In a larger second mixing bowl, measure out your 3 eggs, sugar, extract. Add melted butter. Mix wet ingredients until combined.

Add flour mix from first bowl slowly into wet mix bowl. Add the almonds. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined.
Divide dough onto parchment into 2 pieces shaped like logs. The dough will seem batter-like, sticky and soft. Rather than use my hands, I spooned the dough into two mounds on the parchment then used a floured spatula to shape into 2 logs 13" x 2.5."

Whip large egg white until foamy. Brush onto biscotti log before baking for that shiny brown coat.

When I first read it, it sounded long and skinny but when baked the dough will spread to about 4-5" wide but the length stayed the same.
Bake at 350F until golden brown about 30 minutes.

Move logs from parchment to cooling rack. Allow to cool completely. Maintain oven at 350F. Transfer logs to work surface. Using serrated knife, cut 3/4" thick slices (either across or at a diagonal). Biscotti will be soft in the middle so take care not to break it. 
Arrange slices cut side down onto new parchment on baking sheet. Not all of mine fit on the original baking sheet so I did it in 2 batches. Return to oven for 12 minutes. 

Flip biscotti over for other side to brown. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer biscotti to cooling rack.
Enjoy with your favorite warm beverage. 
The biscotti was easy to make and yummy - not too sweet but with a distinct almond flavor from the extract. The texture wasn't too hard and the almonds added a nice texture. This recipe is a keeper. Next time, I'd add some orange rind or make a chocolate or choco-dipped version.

Tasty with your afternoon latte or for a light breakfast.


Anonymous said...

That looks delicious! I've never made biscotti before, and actually had no idea how it was done.

BigAppleNosh said...

Mmmmmmmmm! Looks yummy!

lavenderpug said...

delicious! almond's such a great flavor for biscotti.

Jessica said...

Biscotti is sooo good. Thanks for sharing this recipe! :)