Almond biscotti

Biscotti are crunchy biscuits, typically flavoured with nuts, which are thought to originate from Prato in Tuscany. The secret to the crunch in Italian biscotti is that the biscuits are twice baked. These almond biscotti are great to dip into hot drinks and make a welcome accompaniment to after-dinner coffee. They also make a pretty, home-made gift!

Ingredients
110 g plain flour
¾ level tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
25 g ground almonds
50 g almonds, skins on
75 g golden caster sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
a few drops almond extract

Preparation method
Pre-heat the oven to 170 °C (gas mark 3) and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper. The follow these steps:

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, then add the ground and whole almonds and sugar. Give it a good mix with a large spoon, then add the beaten egg and the almond extract. Mix again to combine the ingredients.

2. Once mixed, use your hands to bring the mixture together to form a smooth dough. For biscotti it is generally best to use a spoon and your hands rather than a food processor, which could end up crushing up the whole almonds.

3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and, using your hands, roll it into a log about 28 cm long. Put it on the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.

4. Allow the biscuit log to cool completely on a cooling rack and reduce the oven temperature to 150 °C (gas mark 2).

5. Once cool, use a serrated knife to cut the biscotti into slightly diagonal slices (about 1 cm wide). Then place the cut bicuits back on the baking tray (use more lining paper if necessary) and bake for another 30 minutes until pale gold and crisp.

6. Transfer them to a cooling rack and see how long they last!

Never been to Tuscany, the home of biscotti, Chianti wine and the famous Tuscan bean soup? Check out our holidays to Tuscany now!

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