Friday, November 28, 2014

Almond Biscotti

Every Christmas, one of the must-haves around our house is biscotti! These a delicious twice-baked cookie that come in many different colors and flavors.  Over the years we have tried many different types, but one of my favorites is the classic almond biscotti. Every Christmas morning we all wake up, head down stairs, each make a big, hot cup of coffee (or tea) and sit down to open our stockings.  By the time the coffee has cooled just enough, we find that Santa has left a personal bag of biscotti in each of our stockings! It's like he can read our minds. :)

This year I set out to learn how to make almond biscotti.  If you are like our family, you will love this recipe!

- 1 cup whole almonds (with skin, toasted, chopped)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature) 
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 3 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt


1) Start by toasting almonds in a pan for 5-10 mins until light brown and fragrant. Let cool completely and coarsely chop. 

2) Mix together sugar and butter for 2 mins until light and fluffy.  Add brandy, vanilla extract, almond extract and eggs.  In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add 1 tsp of the flour mixture to the coarsely chopped almonds.  This helps the almonds hold into their place. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture.  Finally, add the almonds to the dough.  Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

3) Preheat oven to 350F.  One an un-greased baking sheet, shape dough into two loaves where each loaf is almost the entire length of a cookie sheet (2inches by 16inches). If the dough is sticky, use a little bit of water to help the dough from sticking to your hands.

4) Bake the loaves for 30 minutes. Transfer baked loaves to a cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

5) Using a serrated knife, cut the loaves into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch slices (I like mine on the thinner side, but this is a personal preference thing).

6) Place the slices baking on the baking sheet and bake for another 20 minutes at 350F.  Transfer the delicious, warm biscotti cookies to a cooling rack.

These will last for up to a week in a sealed container.  I think the flavor intensifies over the next day or so.  Personally, my favorite way to enjoy them is with a nice cup of tea.  Either way just try to restrain yourself from eating them all at once. :)

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