Today I tried my hand at homemade biscotti. On the occasional mornings when my husband and I can spend some quality time together before getting started with our day (i.e., the times he has the day off and we actually manage to drag ourselves out of bed without the kids waking us up first), we love to sit at our kitchen table sharing coffee and biscotti with each other. But I hardly ever buy it since we're on a tight budget, so I decided it's time to figure out for myself how to make some. Here's what I did:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 ounce sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine floud and baking powder in medium bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, lemon zest and salt in large bowl. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in almonds.
Form dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the lined baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Place log on a cutting board and, using a sharp serrated knife, cut on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick slices. Arrange biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
Here's how they turned out:
It's a long way from fantastic, but not bad for a first attempt, I think. The lemon zest gives it a subtle sweetness without being sugary like a cookie, and the almonds are a good flavor without being too nutty. Still, there's lots of room for experimentation, and I've got a few ideas I'll be trying over time. For instance, the next batch I make is going to include dried cranberries, and maybe some English walnuts. And it almost goes without saying that at some point I'll be using melted dark chocolate as a coating.
In the meantime, I'm saving the chocolate for my macaroons.