There is nothing like dessert for breakfast. While I’m normally not a huge biscotti fan due to the fact that they tend to have the texture of cement, these almond biscotti were like little breakfast cookies. A bit crunchy, but still with some moisture to them, sweet but not too sweet, and perfect for dipping in coffee.
I had never made them before, but these were my biscotti results.
The trick to biscotti is to make sure they don’t dry out. This means be careful not to over bake them as they will lose moisture after cooking also. Also it helps to have a really solid recipe.
This is that recipe.
Yield: About 30 biscotti.
3 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/3 Teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Cups sugar
10 Tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon whiskey or orange liqueur if you have it
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 Cup almonds toasted, coarsely chopped or sliced almonds
1 large egg white for brushing on loaves
1) Sift the flour and baking powder to make sure it is really fluffy.
2) In a second, larger bowl, combine sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, booze, and orange zest together. Stir in the flour mixture 1/3 at a time until you end up with dough that resembles cookie dough.
3) After the dough is formed, gently fold in the almonds.
4) Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Take out about half of the dough and form it into a loaf that should be about 13 inches long and 3 inches wide. Repeat so you have two loaves.
5) Beat the egg white until it has medium peaks and brush each loaf with the frothy mixture.
6) Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
7) Cool completely on a wire rack. Make sure they are cool before continuing – approximately 30 minutes. Keep the oven hot at 350 degrees.
8) Once each loaf is cooled, slice it on a diagonal with a good, sharp bread knife or serrated knife. Take the time to try to make sure that the slices are pretty even and uniform.
9) Get rid of the parchment paper and lay each slice down on the baking sheet.
10) Bake at 350 for 12 minutes and then turn and bake for another 8-10 minutes until they are a light, golden brown color.
11) Again, cool them on a wire rack.
12) Optionally, dip biscotti in chocolate. Store the regular biscotti in a sealed plastic bag once they are entirely cool. Store the chocolate ones in the fridge.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.
Making the Dough
This dough is pretty straightforward to pull together. It’s really wet though. It’s almost more of a batter than a dough. To start, sift your flour and baking powder to make sure it is really fluffy.
I’m not really sure if sifting is necessary, but given that it was my first time making the recipe, I thought it was worth doing right.
There are some interesting ingredients in this recipe. Most notably the orange liqueur. I’m sorry, but I’m just not going to go buy a whole bottle of the stuff for 1 Tablespoon, so I just used some whiskey I had around. Seemed to work just fine.
Now a skeptic might say, “Nick. Hold the blog! You take the time to sift the flour, but then you just willy-nilly substitute an entire ingredient?”
To this skeptic I would say yes. Unfortunately I have very little justification sometimes for why I adhere strictly to some parts of the recipe and liberally change other parts. I guess you could say that the sifting is a method and liquors can usually be substituted pretty freely.
I kind of made that up though.
In a second, larger bowl, combine your sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, booze, and orange zest together. Stir in your flour mixture 1/3 at a time until you end up with a dough that will basically resemble cookie dough.
After the dough is formed, gently fold in your almonds and you are all set.
Forming the loaf
This part is a bit awkward. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. That part is easy. Next you need to take out about half of this dough and form it into a loaf that should be about 13 inches long and 3 inches wide. This might end up being a bit messy. Use some flour if you need to on your hands to get the dough to shape correctly.
I think my dough was a bit too runny because as soon as I made my loafs they started to spread out. I was worried about this, but it turned out to be okay since they do that in the oven anyway.
Finally, beat your egg white until it has medium peaks and brush each loaf with the frothy mixture.
Cooking these guys
Bake these guys at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until they are golden brown. Then cool them completely on a wire rack. Make sure they are cool before continuing. Mine took about 30 minutes to cool down.
Keep your oven hot at 350 though.
Slicing the biscotti
Once each loaf is cooled, you can slice it on a diagonal with a good, sharp bread knife or serrated knife. Take your time to try to make sure that the slices are pretty even and uniform. I was able to get about 15 slices out of each loaf. If you make your loafs longer and narrower though, I can see how you could get 20 or so slices.
The second baking
Get rid of the parchment paper and lay each slice down on your baking sheet. They will be pretty moist so be careful. I snapped one in half by accident. Oops.
Bake them at 350 for 12 minutes and then turn them and bake for another 8-10 minutes until they are a light, golden brown color.
Again, cool them on a wire rack.
Because I had some chocolate left over from these guys, I decided to dip some of my biscotti in chocolate because, why not?
Store the regular biscotti in a sealed plastic bag once they are entirely cool. They can keep for a few days easily before they take on that rock like texture that I hate. Store the chocolate ones in the fridge.
These would be great to serve with coffee if you were having a lot of people over for brunch or something. My experience was that it was hard for us to eat them all before they turned into granite structures.