I would, really, if gas were free and I had all the free time in the world. In Carmel on Ocean Avenue, you can find Carmel Bakery and Coffee Co. It was there that I fell in love with biscotti... there's is cut thick, loaded with chocolate, and utterly divine. Alas, it's a few hours to Carmel, so when the craving for biscotti hits, I do what any baker would and make my own batch, which is pretty darn good itself.
The recipe can be used as a good base for experimenting with biscotti. So far, I've found this adaptation to be a favorite. Flavored with almond extract, heavily drizzled with melted dark chocolate, and sprinkled with slivered almonds, it's the perfect way to start off the day along with a nice cup of coffee for dunking. It's also delicious without the chocolate (I will always choose chocolate!), so make it to your preference. Plus, I cut the biscotti none too thin, so as to really get a lot of flavor with each bite (there's just something about cutting food thickly that makes it seem better to me). Which do you prefer: thick or thin?
|(Chocolate) Almond Biscotti|
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter (1 stick, softened)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- For optional topping:
- 1 ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
- almonds for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 12″ x 5 ½″ biscotti pans.You will also use a parchment-lined baking sheet, and this can be used in place of the biscotti pans.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, whisking together without over-mixing.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs and almond extract and beat well. Add dry ingredients, beating at lowest speed until just combined. Stir in 1 cup of almonds by hand.
- Spoon the dough into the prepared biscotti tins or shape into a rectangle, 24" x 11", on the baking sheet, smoothing the dough out so it is flat.
- Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. After the first baking period, remove from the oven to cool for 5 minutes before slicing into strips about 1 ¼ inches wide. Then, place the biscotti back in the oven for the second bake. Bake for 15 minutes, and then overturn the pans to place the biscotti upside-down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, or simply turn the biscotti over by hand if they are already on the baking sheet. Bake for another 10 minutes on the baking sheet.
- Once the biscotti are finished baking, allow them to cool completely. They will get crispier as they cool.
- For optional topping: To melt the dark chocolate chips, place them in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute. Stir and microwave in additional 30-second increments until completely melted. Use a spatula to drizzle the chocolate over the cooled biscotti. Then, sprinkle a handful of slivered almonds onto the biscotti. Allow the chocolate to harden before eating (as tempting as it is to eat them right then and there!)