It’s been a bit hectic here at our Maryland bed and breakfast lately as it usually is this time of year. Lots of preparations for end of year festivities and parties. Then there’s the gifting, of course. What to give, what to give!
If you’re looking for a great food based gift, we have just the thing. Most people think that Italian Biscotti are difficult to make so they never even attempt it. Not true! They’re actually really easy to prepare, it’s just that there are two steps to baking them. (Biscotti meaning “twice cooked”). This method dries them out, giving them the perfect texture for dunking. The dough itself is very forgiving, you don’t have to be “delicate” with it. If you can mix stuff together, you can make these.
This is an updated version of a recipe we shared years ago, and is a favorite at our daily Tea Time and Social Hour– give it a go!!
Most recipes yield a great deal, making them perfect for sharing. Pair them with a bottle of sweet wine (the traditional accompaniment), or specialty teas and a pretty teacup – what a lovely and thoughtful gift you’ll have!
Almond Biscotti Recipe
(This is a very large batch, perfect for sharing. Feel free to halve the recipe if necessary).
- 6 cups all purpose flour
- 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons anise seeds
- zest of 2 lemons
- 4 cups toasted almonds, chopped fairly fine
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 2/3 cup sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, anise seeds and lemon zest. Add the almonds and mix well.
- In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar and beat together until blended. Add the eggs and almond extract. Blend well.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Combine until a sticky dough forms. Dust work surface with flour, remove dough from bowl and knead for a minute or two, until the dough comes together, adding flour if necessary.
- Pat dough into a large rectangle shape about an inch thick. Cut into 6 sections.
- Take each section and form individual rectangles, again, about an inch thick. Place 3 each -about 4 inches apart- onto 2 large sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
- Bake approximately 30 minutes. The dough will spread out as it bakes. It should feel firm to the touch in the center when it is ready. Remove from the oven and let cool about 10 minutes or until you can easily handle them.
- Place on a cutting board, one at a time. Using a serrated knife, cut slices across the baked dough about ½ inch wide.
- Place the slices back on the sheet pan and return to oven to bake again about 10-15 minutes longer, or until the Biscotti are firm and dry, but not beginning to brown.
Let cool completely.
Package them in decorative bags or tins. Or, if they are all yours, enjoy them throughout the season with your guests, who will surely be impressed.