Recipes: Homemade Biscotti

 Biscotti.

Flickr Photo Credit: J.S. Patchwork

Here’s a recipe that can be easily modified or varied. It’s also extremely affordable to make, yet gives a fair amount of style to the event at which it is served.

1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup softened margarine, 1 tsp almond extract, 1/4 tsp anise or vanilla extract, 2 large eggs, 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (divided), 1/2 cup ground almonds, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, cooking spray.

Combine first five ingredients in a bowl, beating until well blended. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, almonds, baking powder, and salt. Stir well. Add almond mixture to egg mixture and beat well. Then, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour to make a soft dough. Cover and chill at least two hours. (I’ve chilled over night before when I want to get up and make fresh biscotti without having to make the dough before I’ve had my coffee.)

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Divide in half and shape each chunk into a 12 inch log. Place each of these onto a pre-sprayed baking sheet, flattening into a 3/4 inch thickness. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove logs and coll them on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. After the logs have cooled for about 10 minutes, cut them diagonally into 1/4 inch slices and place them cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at the new temperature, turn over and bake again for another 15 minutes. Cool and store in airtight container. These are great for dunking in coffee, tea or dessert wine.

Variations: 1. Use chopped almonds instead of ground, or use another kind of nut. 2. Try another type of extract flavor. 3. Melt white or dark chocolate bits in a double boiler with a tad of shortening to promote even coverage. Hold each cooled biscotti with one cut side down over the melted coating chocolate and dip. Turn over onto wax paper. The chocolate will drizzle down over the sides decoratively. This is a way to add a little extra punch for minimal cost if you are having a special event.