The Lovely and Versatile Almond Biscotti (at home)

If you find yourself paying $2.75 for a biscotti every time you step into your local coffee haunt, calm yourself.  Help is at hand.  Not only are biscotti fairly easy to make at home, but they keep forever, and (over time) you may be able to recuperate the cash you’ve been throwing at someone else’s biscotti.  Yours are better anyway.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (just the insides) or 1/2 tsp. extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds

I like to throw a little orange zest into the mix as well, but we’ll get there in a second 🙂

Start by beating together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract.

Combine it well.

Stir together the ‘dry’ portion; flour, baking soda, salt.

Combine the ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ portions on a low speed.  Here I’ve thrown in the zest of one orange also.

There we go.

Once the ‘dry’ ingredients have been incorporated, add the sliced almonds and continue mixing until incorporated.

You’ll end up with something that looks like this; a very sticky, slow moving batter.

*Very Important* Flour some parchment paper really well.  This batter is sticky, and it needs a lot of help.

Turn the batter out onto the floured parchment paper lined sheet trays.

Use the parchment to help you bring the batter together and flatten it out slightly.  More flour may be required.

Kind of like this.

Now, shape the dough into pretty good rectangles, about 1/4 inch high.  (Keep some flour near by if your hands get sticky)

Pop that into a 350 degree oven for 17-20 minutes.

Remove when they look nice a lightly golden brown(ed).  Let this cool for about 5 minutes.

Get a serrated knife, move to a cutting board, and slice the ‘loaf’ into 1/4 inch slices.

Turn the oven down to 300 degrees and pop these guys back in for 10-20 minutes.

They should be nice and tan, and have a crisp, light texture.

This recipe yields about 20 biscotti or so, at about $.13 a piece.  This, as you already know, are a great any-time snack.  Biscotti also work well crushed up for pie crusts (hello!).  I brought these to work this week, and one of our talented line cooks (Hi Hank) turned them into the crust for our staff meal cheesecake.  We used to use them the same way back at Restaurant Vintage Park in Nebraska.  Biscotti crust, mascarpone cheesecake, lemon curd to glaze; Lovely!  Great with a nice coffee, and traditionally served with a sweet wine called Vin Santo (wine of the saints), these classic twice-baked Italian treats are great to keep around.  Good luck keeping them around.

Treat yourself well –

-Scott

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