If you're like me, you drink a lot more hot beverages when it's cold outside than when it's warm, and you also like the occasional sweet treat with your beverage. I have made these almond biscotti twice now, and each time I made them around Christmas and gave some as presents. They make great homemade gifts, and are ideal for any time you have a cup of coffee or tea in hand. In fact, I'd love to have one right now.
Because the biscotti have almond extract in them, they tend to taste sweeter- I'd say make them as suggested first and adjust the recipe accordingly. The pungency of almond is nicely counterbalanced with the cornmeal, giving the biscotti a really interesting and crumbly texture. The recipe also makes a good number of biscotti- an entire baking pan full, so you'll have plenty to eat and plenty to share! They keep wrapped up and at room temp. about a week. I have never frozen them because they never last that long.
This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking: From My Home To Yours, and I was unbelieveably lucky to find it at Ross for $10 several years back. You can of course find it online or in book stores, and if you like to bake, I'd highly recommend this book!
Lenox Almond Biscotti
from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home To Yours
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3/4 cup sliced almonds, blanched or unblanched
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the cornmeal and whisk again to blend.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed for 3 minutes, until very smooth. Add the eggs and continue to beat, scraping down the bowl as needed, for another 2 minutes, or until the mixture is light, smooth and creamy. Beat in the almond extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. You'll have a soft, stick-to-your-fingers dough that will ball up around the paddle or beaters. Scrape down the paddle and bowl, toss in the almonds and mix just to blend.
Scrape half the dough onto one side of the baking sheet. Using your fingers and a rubber spatula or scraper, work the dough into a log about 12 inches long and 1 1¿2 inches wide. The log will be more rectangular than domed, and bumpy, rough and uneven. Form a second log with the remaining dough on the other side of the baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the logs are lightly golden but still soft and springy to the touch.
Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and cool the logs on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
If you turned off the oven, bring it back up to 350 degrees F.
Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the logs to a cutting board and, with a long serrated knife, trim the ends and cut the logs into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Return the slices to the baking sheet — this time standing them up like a marching band — and slide the sheet back into the oven.
Bake the biscotti for another 15 minutes, or until they are golden and firm. Transfer them to racks and cool to room temperature.
- I have only ever made two biscotti recipes, but numerous cookie recipes, and this is the wettest, stickiest dough yet. You're not doing anything wrong if it almost feels like thick muffin batter.
- Bread knives work great for slicing the biscotti.
- I used stone ground, yellow corn meal from House Autry, available at my local Wal-Mart.