Monday, March 21, 2011

Almond Vanilla Cinnamon Biscotti


I love biscotti, but I've had a couple failures with it now.  I always had a problem getting the dough to spread out and form that classic biscotti shape when you slice it.  I looked through many recipes trying to find something that seemed different than what I've tried before.  I hit the goldmine and had a little aha! moment when I came across this recipe.  The problem I've always been having is that the 'dough' was in all actuality a dough.  It went up and up but never spread.  That's no good.  This recipe produces something much more akin to a cookie batter.  It's slightly sticky and spread just like a cookie would and raises perfectly.  

Perfectly crunchy all the way through, these are exactly like the biscotti you get out of the pretty jars at coffee shops.  Filled with almonds and vanilla and scented with cinnamon, they just can't get any more perfect.  Except if you drizzle them in white chocolate and dunk them in a hot cup of coffee like I did.

These can be made any way you can imagine using the base recipe.  Just trade the almonds and cinnamon for anything else.  Macadamia nuts and cranberries, pistachio and orange zest, coffee extract instead of vanilla, these are wide open to creativity.  I suggest making a double recipe, you aren't going to want to share these.

Almond Vanilla Cinnamon Biscotti 
recipe adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

2 Eggs
2/3 Cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds
2 Cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Roasted Saigon Cinnamon 
2 oz. White Chocolate Chips
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon Vegetable Shortening

 Preheat oven to 350F/175C.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Combine eggs, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract and mix until it's light in color and forms ribbons when it falls back into the bowl.

Combine flour, cinnamon and almonds.  Gradually add to egg mixture and stir just until combined.  The batter will be sticky and very similar to cookie dough.  Do not add more flour.

Pour the batter into the cookie sheet and shape it into a flat rectangle.  Bake 25 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let it sit 5 minutes.  Very lightly spritz or rub water over the cookie, then let it rest another 5 minutes.  Move it to a cutting board and cut into even slices.  Cutting diagonally will create larger cookies.  Return to the baking sheet and stand them up, don't lay them on their sides.  It's best to have the cookies open to the heat as much as possible.

Bake an additional 20 - 30 minutes until light golden and they don't feel too moist.  Cool completely.

Combine white chocolate and shortening and melt in the microwave or a double boiler.  Drizzle over cooled biscotti or dip the cookies.

Makes 16 - 20 biscotti 

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