Somehow, making this traditional Italian almond biscotti makes me feel legit.
Sure, I burned the bottom of half of them and didn’t quite get the texture right.
But, come on. I made biscotti!
According to Joy of Baking, Italians use the term biscotti to refer to all cookies, while in North America, “biscotti” refers specifically to the long, hard, twice-baked cookie designed to go with caffeinated drinks. The name comes from “bis,” which means twice in Italian and “cotto,” which means baked or cooked.
I actually decided to make these Italian treats last weekend for a friend’s birthday (what up, David G!). I also ended up dipping them in chocolate. Be jealous.
I ran into an issue at the grocery store, though. There were no plain, whole almonds.
I stood in the aisle going nuts (har har) for about 20 minutes trying to decide if dry roasted almonds would taste strange in biscotti. (I decided that they would.)
Then, out of nowhere I saw them. Dark chocolate cocoa roasted almonds.
Now we’re talking.
- 3 cups whole almonds (I used cocoa roasted almonds)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 jumbo eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- zest of 1 large orange (about 1 -2 teaspoons)
- plus one egg, lightly beaten for brushing tops of loaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large sheets with parchment paper.
Place almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
In a large bowl, hand mix toasted almonds, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, and flour.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Add the vanilla and orange zest and whisk until well blended. Add to the flour mixture. Work the batter together with lightly floured hands. The mixture will be sticky, but persevere. Keep squeezing the batter with your hands, until a dough starts to form. Once the dough is firm, form a ball. Divide the ball into four equal pieces.
On a lightly floured surface place one piece of dough, and using your hands, roll into a log shape that is approximately 8 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 3/4 of an inch high. Repeat with remaining three pieces of dough. Place two logs per baking sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg (mixed with about 1 TB of water).
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the tops of the loaves are shiny and deep golden. *Watch closely! Mine were done after about 30.*
Cool on a rack for about 20 minutes before slicing. Place a loaf on a cutting board, and using a large serrated knife, slice cookies 3/4 of an inch thick on the diagonal. If the cookie is crumbling, then let it cool a few more minutes. Don’t let it rest too long, however, or they could become too hard to slice. Place slices on their sides back on to the baking sheets; place in the still warm oven with the temperature off and the door closed for 30-60 minutes. The longer they stay in the oven, the harder they will become. Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.
[Source: Recipe comes straight from the talented Food Blogga]