Friday, February 1, 2008

The Biscotti Project - Attempt #1

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:

Almond Biscotti

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.


Bobbi said...

I think I'm going to make this my baking adventure for the weekend - I love biscotti and I know I have all the ingredients already. Can't wait to try these! :)

marye said...

That is awesome for your first try! It took me about 5 to get that good!

Wendy said...

Go for it, Bobbi. Good luck!

Thanks Marye, that makes me feel tons better. :)

Rach said...

Looks MUCH better than my first try. :P

DidiLyn said...

I'll make these. Love almond biscotti. I just have to get some parchment paper. I didn't use it when I made the macaroons the other day, and they stuck to the tin foil. Lesson learned.

<---That Girl said...

Know what I love about making biscotti? no matter what, it always tastes better than anything store-bought! My favorite recipe is chocolate with dried cherries...oh my. I think you've inspired me to pull out my recipe book again. IT's been about 3 years since I made biscotti. Thanks & happy baking!

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