Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Almond Biscotti

Every morning my Mom and I have coffee together. She has half a cup and I have four cups. I have never stopped loving a nice biscotti with coffee. Biscotti may have lost popularity in the food writing world but, in my kitchen biscotti recipes are still alive and thriving. As with the coffee, Mom has one biscotti and I have four.
This recipe is good. I tend to lean more towards a fruity or chocolate version. Almond paste makes this recipe have a nice depth of nutty flavor. The original author did not include the white chocolate and lemon sugar topping that I used but, I think it was a nice needed touch. Without the white chocolate this biscotti would have been to boring for me. The description is a "sponge cake-like biscotti". What a relief, I thought maybe I had done something wrong. Mine turned out tender chewy crisp, without the snap of a nice dry biscotti.
Four dozen have vanished 24 hours later so they must have been okay. Check out the fancy name... Biscotti alle Mandorle
Well, I know, I'm gonna call my version Almond Biscotti, that other name is just too fancy for an ole' gal like me. I have made a few small changes to the original version. I used sliced almonds rather than whole almond. Their version had me roasting whole almonds and then cutting them into thirds. I happen to have a huge bag of sliced almonds and of course, this is naturally what I used. So, yes, I made changes and this how it went.

Almond Biscotti

3/4 cups of sliced almonds (roast them until slightly golden brown and let them cool)
1/2 cup almond paste (seriously I love the flavor of this stuff)
3 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl beat the almond paste until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest and almond extract. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cornstarch. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until blended. Fold in the nuts.
Grease and flour a cookie sheet. You know the drill with biscotti. Moisten your fingers and form the two strips of dough/batter into 12-14 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. I use a metal bench scraper but you can use a serrated knife to slice the biscotti at a 45 degree angel about 1/2 inch thick. Lay the sliced flat on the baking sheet and return to a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes, turn them over once at the 5 minute mark.
Melt some good white chocolate and brush the cooled biscotti on top then sprinkle with lemon sugar.

Lou Seibert Pappas wrote a Biscotti cookbook. A nice little book with fancy named biscotti.

If you should happen to be having a nice cup of coffee with a nice woman everyday then this will make a nice addition to the day.

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