Author Notes: Almond Biscotti brings back Christmas baking memories; it was a holiday tradition to bake dozens of them, and because whiskey was an ingredient used we always had fun calling them whiskey cookies. Seriously! I never knew the proper name for these cookies until years later when biscotti became “a total craze!”
Except for my tweaks = orange zest, spice, almond meal, salted butter-browned and a whiskey preference this is the basic recipe my mother & grandmother made.
Makes: four logs for slicing to twice bake
6 oz. whole natural almonds with skins on – toasted
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon Chinese five spice
Zest from one large orange
1/2 cup salted butter – optional = browned butter
6 tablespoons whiskey - your choice (Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey is my favorite for these cookies)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3-1/2 cups sifted unbleached AP flour (plus extra on hand if needed for rolling)
1/4 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350° F. lightly grease two baking sheets
- PREP THE FOLLOWING INGREDIENTS
- Toast almonds on a baking sheet, lightly salt...let sit until needed.
- In a small bowl, mix the sugar, five spice and orange zest together...let sit until needed.
- In measuring cup with spout for easier pouring, melt the butter; take off heat, cool a bit then stir in the whiskey, almond extract and vanilla...let sit until needed.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, almond meal and baking powde...let sit until needed.
- COMBINING THE INGREDIENTS
- Beat the sugar mixture with the eggs until it is pale looking.
- Stir in the butter mixture.
- Using a wooden spoon, fold in half the flour mixture until almost incorporated. Fold in the remaining flour, and again, until the flour is almost incorporated.
- Add the almonds; fold the dough and almonds together, until incorporated.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
- FORMING THE BISCOTTI LOGS AND BAKING TWICE
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into four equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a log 12 inches in length.
- Place 2 logs on a lightly greased baking sheet; flatten them to 1/2 inch thickness. Note: stick both sheets in the oven and half way through switch them from top to bottom.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 250° F. Let the logs cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
- Slice each log diagonally into 1/2-inch thick cookies. Note: If the biscotti log is crumbling then let it cool a few minutes more.
- Lay the sliced cookies flat onto the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes; turn cookies over and bake an additional 25 minutes – until golden brown or they are crisped to your preference. The longer in the oven the crisper they will get.
- Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container to help keep them crisp - should keep up to a month.