Baking biscotti ranks up there with my love of baking cheesecakes! Stop by my home any time for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and you will find biscotti in my cookie jar! Being a crisp cookie, dipping in coffee, espresso or wine is a must! So when I got a text from my niece, Rayna asking about a biscotti recipe, I got very excited! I had planned to do biscotti soon, but I honestly couldn’t decide on what flavor to make first. Rayna solved that with her request for healthy and almond. As simple as that, I give you Rayna, my basic, healthy Italian Almond Biscotti!
Now as you will see in the recipe below, I like to add in Sambuca Liquor. Actually I like to add liquor into a lot of my baking! Sambuca is an anise flavored liquor and anise is used in many biscotti recipes. I enjoy Sambuca in my espresso or neat, chilled, but served without the ice. Adding Sambuca or the anise extract is a personal preference as some people do not like the taste of anise.
2 cups whole almonds chopped coarsely
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon Sambuca liquor (optional – as anise extract, also optional)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet or use parchment paper or slipat.
Beat the sugar and the eggs until well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the almond extract and Sambuca or anise if using.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg batter and mix until combined. Fold in the almonds. The dough will be very sticky. Divide dough and use a rubber spatula to drop dough onto the cookie sheet to begin forming into 2 logs. Use slightly wet hands to form the dough. Don’t give up, it is sticky! Continue to lightly wet your hands to gently form the logs. You will not be rolling the dough into a log, just shaping. Using a bit of flour would help as well, but I prefer to lightly wet my hands. Also adding more flour will make it heavier and I prefer a light, crisp biscotti.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the logs are firm and lightly browned. Remove from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, and let cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the cooled logs to a cutting board and cut into diagonal slices, about 1/2 inch wide. Place the biscotti back on the cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. The biscotti will be firm and darkened a bit more. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.