Almond Biscotti

by Laura on November 13, 2010

I don’t think of biscotti as particularly festive, but they’re awfully nice with a couple of shots of espresso, so one year I made a few batches to tuck into my Christmas cookie and candy boxes.  They were declared the favorite cookie of the year by my beloved butcher, Austin, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to take them off the list since.

Homemade biscotti are, like just about everything, so much dreamier than store-bought.  When Dorie Greenspan’s hefty tome, Baking, was published a few years ago, this was one of the first recipes I tried, and I was so surprised by it.   The biscotti are crunchy both from ground cornmeal and from a double trip into the oven, but they are also tender.  They are flavored with slivered almonds and with a generous dribble of almond extract, and they have a delicate quality in both taste and texture.  My batches are already sleeping between layers of waxed paper in the freezer, but the ends I trimmed off are on a plate in my kitchen calling to me while they nudge the espresso machine.  Hard to resist.

Music for baking biscotti:
Dean Martin’s A Winter Romance, the 1959 classic, is still great.

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