I am always up for a challenge, and love to bake things I have never tried! One treat that my step mother Doris loves is biscotti. I have always looked at them with a little trepidation, thinking they would for sure break at the very least some fillings, and at the worst…teeth.
So…research! How was I to know that there were many different kinds of biscotti? Sweet, savory, chocolate dipped, traditional, with our without butter…yikes! What to choose, what to choose? Eventually I decided that it might be fun to make biscotti that paired well with a few of our local wines/beverages. As you can see above, I decided on a traditional flavor with a little twist of lemon..perfect to pair with Five and 20 Spirits Limoncello (which, by the way, also make a magnificent Lemon Meringue Pie).
Being traditional, there was no butter in the recipe, but toasted whole almonds and some lemon oil.
How do you get the shape? Well, you form the dough into logs and bake for the first time.
Then (and this was the tricky part) you slice the baked logs on the diagonal once they are cooled, and put the slices back in the oven and bake a second time,
The flavor is very good–almondy, marzipan with a hint of lemon..not too much. Not bad for a first try! What next? I am thinking ginger….
This recipe is from “Ciao Biscotti” by Domenica Marchetti
(makes about 30)
2 C flour
1 1/4C sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
scant 1 C whole almonds, toasted
3 large eggs, one separated
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon oil
Heat oven to 350 degrees, put parchment paper in 11x17inch baking sheet.
1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the toasted almonds and mix on low speed to combine and break up some of the almonds.
2. Lightly beat the eggs and egg yolk, and combine with the vanilla and lemon. Add to the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed until a soft, slightly sticky dough has formed.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a disk. Divide the disk in half. Lightly moisten your hands with water and gently roll one portion of the dough into a rough oval. Place it lengthwise on one half of the baking sheet and use your hands and fingers to stretch and pat the dough into a log about 2 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long.
4. Shape the second piece of dough in the same way, moistening your hands as necessary. Press down on the logs to flatten them out a bit and make the tops even. Lightly beat the reserved egg white and brush it over the tops of the logs.
5. Bake the logs for 25 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and just set–they should be springy to the touch and there should be cracks on the surface. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Gently slide the logs to a wire rack, and let cool for 20 minutes.
6. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer the logs, one at at time, to a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, cut them on the diagonal into 3/4 inch slices. Arrange the slices, cut-side up, on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for another 10 minutes, until they are crisp. The biscotti will keep for up to 2 weeks in a airtight container stored at room temperature.
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