Hands down, almond biscotti are my all time favorite baked treat. They are simple yet satisfying, just as good accompanying a cup of coffee as a mid-afternoon snack as they are alongside a dish of gelato for dessert, or for a real Tuscan treat, sipped and dipped into vin santo as the final course of an Italian dinner. When Glenn would deploy I would send him boxes filled with almond biscotti since they ship well, never got stale, and most importantly, provided him with a little taste of home while he was thousands of miles away. This recipe comes from the always reliable America’s Test Kitchen. If you don’t have almonds on hand, pistachios make for a nice substitute. If you go this route, simply omit the almond extract.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer set on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then both extracts, until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
- Reduce the speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture, about 30 seconds.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the nuts.
- Split the dough in half and with floured hands, press each half into a 2 by 13 inch loaf, spacing them about 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until the loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on the top, about 35 minutes.
- Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- Transfer the loaves to a cutting board and using a serrated knife, slice each loaf on the diagonal creating 1/2 inch slices. Lay the slices about 1/2 inch apart of the baking sheet.
- Return the cookies to the oven and bake until the slices are crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes, flipping the slices over halfway through.
- Let the cookies cool completely before serving.
Yields: 3 dozen