Of all the wonderful gifts and well-wishes Chad and I have received in these few weeks since Isadora’s arrival, it’s the edible ones that give us most immediate satisfaction. Chad’s sweet friend Holly in Richmond, VA has not only been offering up the most amazing advice and encouragement, but now we discover she’s a baker extraordinaire. She overnighted us two boxes of the most amazing almond biscotti. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle, and are the perfect between-meal snack for sleepy new parents. Luckily, we coaxed her into sharing the recipe. Click through to the next page for the full scoop! — Angela M.
Holly T’s Almond Biscotti (AKA Quaresimali)
1 pound almonds (raw, unsalted) (1 lb. = 3 cups)
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
3-4 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, beaten lightly (reserve about a tblsp. of egg to mix with a tblsp. of milk for egg wash)
Preheat oven to 350 (toast almonds at 350, increase to 375 to bake biscotti)
Toast the almonds on a cookie sheet until golden and fragrant. Remove and let cool.
In a food processor, grind fine ¼ (¾ cup) of the almonds with ¼ cup sugar and transfer to large bowl. Into the sugar/almond mixture, stir the flour, remaining ¾ cup sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, eggs and butter until combined. Chop coarse the remaining almonds, then stir them in and knead the dough until it is combined.
Divide the dough into halves or thirds, and form each piece into a long, skinny rectangle on Silpat mat or parchment. Brush with egg wash and bake in the upper third of a preheated oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Transfer logs to cutting board, and cut crosswise into ¾–inch slices. Return slices to turned-off oven and let stand for 15 minutes (or longer, to taste).
P.S. It’s not an easy dough to handle, but it’s worth the effort! I would never make them if I didn’t have a stand mixer.