Adapted from Joy of Cooking
Every year we make several Christmas give-aways—food treats to bring joy to our friends. It really started to get serious about 15 years ago when we moved a house with orange, lemon and grapefruit trees. I could not stand that the trees produced far more fruit than we could deal with, so I started making marmalade in bulk and giving it away at Christmas.
Every year now, around December first, co-workers start coming up to Jan and asking, “Is Karl going to make his marmalade again this year?” I think if I stopped at this point there would be a riot on campus. Even though we have moved to a house without the fruit trees, I still make marmalade.
As the years went by, we gradually start adding new items to our gifts: rum balls, biscotti and finally peppermint bark. While I have posted the recipes for the rum balls and peppermint bark, I realized I never posted the biscotti recipe. Our usual recipe has almonds in it, now that I am allergic, I am making a second batch of nut-free, spiced biscotti.
Karl’s Almond Biscotti
1½ cups whole almonds, dry roasted, skins on
4 cups flour, AP
1 cup granulated white sugar
½ cup Karl’s Orange Infused Sugar
2 tsp. baking powder, aluminum free
½ tsp. Kosher salt
7 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1. Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugars, baking powder and salt.
Tip: I re-sift the dry ingredients several times to get a good mix.
3. Mix the chopped nuts into the flour mixture.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and extracts.
5. Add the egg mixture to the flour and stir until a dough forms.
6. Turn the dough out onto a clean smooth surface and knead the dough 5-6 times to make sure all of the dry flour is mixed in.
7. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a ball and divide them in half again.
8. Preheat the oven to 300º F.
9. Lightly flour the board and roll each piece of dough into a log 14 inches long and about 1½ inches thick.
10. Transfer 2 logs to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Press the logs flat so that each is about half an inch thick and 2½ inches wide. Repeat with the remaining two logs of dough.
Tip: Lightly spray each log with water to moisten any dry flour.
11. Bake each pan for about 35 minutes, or until the logs are firm to the touch and just starting to form cracks on the surface.
Tip: The logs will spread and expand during baking.
12. Remove the logs from oven and let them cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes.
13. Transfer each logs to a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut the logs on a steep diagonal into half inch slices.
Tip: I find it useful to make my first cut in the middle of the log and to cut each half in the same direction. I am right handed, so it is easiest for me to cut from left to right, pulling towards me. By supporting the near edge with my thumb I prevent the tip of each slice from breaking off as I am cutting. Flipping the second half of the log around allows you to keep cutting in the same direction.
14. Place the slices of biscotti on the baking sheet and bake, still at 300º F, about 10-15 minutes
15. Turn slices over, and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes or until firm to the touch.
Tip: The longer you bake the biscotti the more crisp and crunchy they will be, but you do not want them to be rock hard. The biscotti will harden further as they dry out, so do not overcook them.
16. Cool them slightly on a wire rack and serve with tea or coffee