How about something calming and soothing to get us through not only today but through the craziness of the holidays. For me, that’s a cup of something warm (whether it be a latte, tea, or hot chocolate) and some biscotti to go along with it. I baked up a batch of these almond biscotti yesterday and have been enjoying a couple with my morning cup of hot chocolate while writing this post. And I have no doubt I’ll be returning for more several times today. I’ve decided the real genius behind biscotti is that you can use them as an excuse to eat cookies at breakfast, lunch, or dinner and anytime in between. Since they are not super sweet and don’t have any butter or oil in them, they don’t feel overly heavy. But they do make your cup of coffee feel a little more special.
The dough for the almond biscotti is rather sticky to work with which is why I recommend using a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap along with a dusting of flour to shape the dough into a long flat log. The technique is often used for rolling out pie crust but I think it works well for biscotti too. Don’t worry if you don’t get the dough shaped into exactly the right dimensions. I have found this recipe to be extremely forgiving.
After the second baking, these cookies become delightfully crispy and should absolutely be dipped into some coffee, milk or even dessert wine to be thoroughly enjoyed. Then kick back and savor a peaceful moment.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for shaping the logs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups unblanched slivered almonds
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and almonds together.
- Whisk the eggs with the vanilla and almond extracts in a small bowl, then pour them into the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat the flour and egg mixture together on medium speed until a dough forms. The dough will look extremely dry in the beginning but it will slowly come together as the eggs are mixed in. Divide the dough in half and scoop each half onto the prepared baking sheet about 4 inches apart. Sprinkle each mound of dough with some flour. Using a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper, shape each half into an 11 inch long log about 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick.
- Bake the logs for 30 minutes or until they are slightly risen and firm to the touch. Cool the logs on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes until logs are completely cool to the touch.
- When the logs have completely cooled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees if necessary. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking liners. Working with a sharp serrated knife, cut the cooled logs on a slight diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place the sliced cookies cut side down on the prepared pans. Bake until biscotti are crisp and golden, 10-15 minutes, rotating sheets and flipping biscotti halfway through. Let biscotti cool completely before adding glaze.
- Gently melt the chocolate in the microwave using short 30 second intervals at 50% power and stirring thoroughly with a rubber spatula in between intervals until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Spread a thin layer of chocolate on one side of each biscotti. Allow chocolate to set in the refrigerator or at room temperature, about 30-45 minutes.
You can make the biscotti up through the first baking then keep the logs wrapped well in plastic wrap for several days. Then continue with the slicing and second baking as directed.
Recipe adapted from the Baking with Julia cookbook.