Wednesday, August 13, 2014
So, like I mentioned, I had a major cookie craving this past weekend. As a result, one batch of cookies was just not enough. No, I had to bake TWO different types. But, since there must be a balance in all things, I decided that my second batch would be a little lighter, a little healthier, not quite as indulgent, but still every bit as delicious. Which meant it was time for biscotti!
I love biscotti. There's just something about nibbling on those crunchy bites that fills me with delight. Consequently, I've made many types through the years - cranberry, pumpkin, banana, gingerbread, chocolate, cinnamon . . . you get the point. But, I've never made the quintessential almond biscotti. It probably has something to do with the fact that I've never been a big fan of almond flavor until recently. Hmm, must be growing up.
Anyway, having formed a taste for it, and owing to the fact that I had a huge bag of sliced almonds I needed to use up, the time had come to try them out. I decided to alter one of my favorite basic biscotti recipes by using almond flavoring in place of the vanilla and adding sliced almonds instead of the typical cranberries and pistachios. It definitely worked out! The biscotti had that lovely almond flavor to them, without it being overpowering, and tasted like those Chinese almond cookies. My family said it's just as good as the ones from Starbucks. Now that's a compliment!
Normally, whenever I bake a batch of cookies, I always take some to work and share them with my co-workers. But, I think this time, I'm just going to keep the biscotti to myself. Don't judge me. :) You know you'd want to do the same.
Almond Biscotti (adapted from Martha Stewart)
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 c. sliced almonds
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and almond extract. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until well incorporated. Fold in the sliced almonds.
Dust a baking sheet with flour. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a 16x2 inch log on the sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Slice into 1/2" thick slices with a serrated knife and place cut side down on the sheet. Bake again for 10 minutes, flip the slices over, and bake 10 minutes more. Let cool completely.