March 31, 2009

Almond Biscotti

As evidenced in other posts, one of my favorite things to do is bake things to give to other people as gifts, or thank yous, or just because.  I like baking for other people because it usually means that I get to try out a new recipe, I don't feel obligated to eat the whole thing all by myself, and other people (especially those who don't bake) are happy (hopefully) to take whatever I've made.

I made these biscotti for two of my professors who were a huge help to me during the process of writing my thesis.  I was so relieved after finishing and so thankful to all of the time and effort they put in to helping me, I knew I had to give them something more meaningful than a "thank you."

These biscotti are great for gifts because they aren't super sugary or decadent and make a good everyday treat as opposed to cookies or brownies.  Also, the recipe makes a ton (about 40) and they keep well for a whole week.

One thing I would suggest is that if you're thinking about making these, read the whole recipe through first and make sure you have allotted enough time.  I made the mistake of not doing this and realized part way through that I needed to be present for multiple timed bakings.  The whole process, including clean-up, ended up taking me about 2 1/2 hours. 

But, while they may be somewhat time consuming, these biscotti are a wonderful, fairly guilt-free (right??) treat.  I could also imagine them partially dipped or drizzled with dark chocolate for a slightly more decadent dessert.

Almond Biscotti
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1999 via smitten kitchen

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 Grand Marnier or orange liqueur [I substituted almond extract, which I think I ended up liking better]
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped or sliced almonds [I used sliced and toasted]

1 large egg white

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Mix sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, vanilla extract, orange liqueur (or almond extract) and zest in large bowl. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir with wooden spoon until well blended. Mix in almonds.

Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, shape each dough half into 13 1/2-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer both logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Whisk egg white in small bowl until foamy; brush over top and sides of each dough log.

Bake logs until golden brown (logs will spread), about 30 minutes. Cool logs completely on sheet on rack, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Transfer logs to work surface; discard parchment paper. Using serrated knife, cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on same baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes. Turn biscotti over; bake until just beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.

Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.


pvtalley said...

these photos are incredible. great job

Herrad said...

These photos are wonderful, I wanted to eat some of everything.

Beautiful blog.

Lynna said...

Thanks, glad you enjoy it!