Let's do some holiday baking, shall we? I started out by making biscotti this year. Biscotti keeps really well, so if you make it now and store it in an air tight container, chances are it will last til the holidays... if you can keep yourself from eating it! I didn't realize how easy biscotti is to make. It is also one of those cookies that you can play around with, adding different nuts, extracts, chocolate, dried fruit, etc. to make it your own. This version is scented with orange zest and almond extract and studded with toasted almonds. It tastes like a much more delicious version of the almond biscotti they have at Starbucks. Speaking of coffee, some homemade biscotti with a coffee mug would make an especially cute gift as well at this time of year!
What is on your baking list at this time of year? Any favorites or family recipes that you turn to year after year? This biscotti recipe will be added to my favorites list for sure!
Almond BiscottiFrom America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book via Serious Eats
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) almonds, toasted and chopped coarse
2 tablespoons grated fresh orange zest
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and almond extracts until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the almonds and zest until just incorporated.
Press the dough into two 13- by 2-inch loaves on the prepared baking sheet, spaced about 3 inches apart. Bake the loaves until golden and just beginning to crack at the top, about 35 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking.
Let the loaves cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.
Transfer the loaves to a cutting board and slice each on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices with a serrated knife. Lay the slices about 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes, flipping the slices over halfway through the baking. Transfer the biscotti spices to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving, about 1 hour.