Here's a little background... A long time ago in a land far away (no joke), I earned my wages as a barista for a small coffee roasting company. Every few days we would have homemade biscotti delivered to our shop by a local baker. These biscotti were like no other biscotti. They were crisp enough to stand up to dunking but not dry or "cut your mouth" hard. Cutting your mouth is not okay... unless we're talking about Captain Crunch, but I digress.
Anyway, I've since been on the search for another biscotti that was so perfectly balanced between crisp and tender. I do believe that today my quest has ended. After searching through biscotti recipes all across the internet, I finally decided to make a hybrid of this one and this one. I like the Food Diary recipe because of the texture (not cut-your-mouth dry) and I like the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest in the Not Derby Pie recipe. I intended on making just almond biscotti but then half way through remembered that I had some dried cranberries so I added them to half. They're good either way and dried cranberries are expensive so if you don't have them on hand, don't worry. I also reduced the amount of sliced almonds from 1 cup to 1/2 cup (because they're expensive also) and it seemed to be plenty.
In the end, I made two weeks worth of biscotti (assuming I eat two every morning... let's be realistic) for the same price as two biscotti at a coffee shop. I consider that a victory.
Oh, did I mention that they're ridiculously easy? Yeah.
Total Recipe cost: $3.64
Servings Per Recipe: 30 pieces
Cost per serving: $0.12 ea.
Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 45 min. Total: 1 hr.
|2 cups||all-purpose flour||$0.12|
|1 tsp||baking powder||$0.03|
|1 cup||granulated sugar||$0.18|
|1/2 tsp||vanilla extract||$0.15|
|1/4 tsp||almond extract||$0.54|
|1/2 cup||sliced almonds||$1.12|
|1 small||lemon, zested||$0.25|
|1/2 cup||dried cranberries (optional)||$0.67|
STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir very well so that the baking powder is evenly distributed.
STEP 2: In a second bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest. Whisk it all together until it is evenly incorporated and has a light creamy appearance (see photos below).
STEP 3: Pour the wet mixture into the dry flour mixture. Stir until it is evenly combined and you have a wet dough that is similar to cookie batter. Fold in the sliced almonds and dried cranberries (if using).
STEP 4: On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, form two semi-flat logs about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long (see photos below). Make sure the logs are a few inches apart because they will expand slightly while baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
STEP 5: Using a spatula, remove the logs to a cutting board. Cut the logs into 1 inch thick slices on a diagonal (this makes the biscotti longer). A serrated knife works best for slicing the biscotti. Place the slices back on the baking sheet. Bake the slices for 5-7 minutes more on each side (depending on how crisp you like them). Larger, thicker logs will require a more time to crisp up.
STEP 6: Allow the biscotti to cool. Enjoy the biscotti plain or dunked in coffee!
Step By Step Photos
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) in one bowl and the wet ingredients (eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and zest) in separate bowl. Your butter will need to be at room temperature to make this work. Or, you can microwave it for 15 seconds. It's okay if it melts a little.
Whisk up the wet ingredients until it is thick and creamy looking like this.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients until it is evenly mixed and it has a similar texture to cookie dough. Then stir in almonds, cranberries or whatever else you'd like.
Form the dough into two semi-flat logs on the baking sheet. (I didn't do so good dividing it into even halves!)
Bake the logs for 35 minutes. The should be golden brown and slightly "cracked" on top.
Slice the logs on a bias into one inch thick pieces. A serrated knife works best for this. Smooth blade knives may cause the cookie to crumble (ha ha) as you cut it.
Place the slices back onto the baking sheet and bake for 5-7 more minutes on each side.
They're perfect... absolutely perfect!