Hi! It’s Tuesday. I hope you had a fabulous weekend and Monday! It feels like I haven’t had anything to say in a long time, even though in reality it’s really only been a couple of days. I guess I like the sound of my own voice?
This past weekend was a harsh reality that summer is not yet upon us. The weather prior to the weekend was SO nice, warm and sunny and I even started noticing my rhubarb plant poking up (yay)! I was considering packing away winter clothes when I looked out the window and saw snow falling. SNOOOOW! Ugh. It’s only April, and I should know better. But last April we reached temperatures of +20! (That’s in Celsius, for my American friends).
So, to make myself feel better about the gloom outside, I did what I always do. I baked! This weekend I baked these easy almond-vanilla biscotti, and then I dipped them in chocolate and covered them in these oh-so-cute Easter egg sprinkles that I found a couple of weeks ago. Suddenly, everything was better.
If you’ve never made your own biscotti, you’re really missing out! It’s actually really easy, and you can do so many fun things with it. I love having biscotti on hand for a little snack with my coffee, or an afternoon cup of tea. Plus, they keep for a really long time, and you’re going to dip them in coffee anyway, so it doesn’t matter if they get dried out!
Biscotti is the twice-baked cookie. What that really means is that after you bake them the first time, you take them out, slice them, and then pop them back into the oven to really harden up.
The recipe itself is really quite simple. Start by creaming together your sugar and butter until it’s smooth. I used coconut palm sugar, which made my biscotti more of a dark brown color.
Next, add in the extracts. I find the almond extract can easily overpower the vanilla, so be sure to measure carefully. If you have a strong preference for either of these flavors, you can control the intensity by adding more or less; even a 1/4 tsp extra will make a big difference for the taste.
Mix in your eggs one at a time, and then slowly add the flour mixed with baking powder, salt and nutmeg until you get a soft dough. It will be slightly sticky, so floured hands will help you with shaping the logs. I like to use a measuring tape to get the logs exactly the same dimensions.
Pop those babies into the oven for about 22 minutes. I’ve learned a pretty neat trick to help with slicing biscotti; fill a spray bottle with room temperature water and lightly spritz all over the baked biscotti, then leave them to sit for about 5 minutes before cutting. The water will soften up the crust just enough that it won’t crumble on you when you slice it. I sliced my pieces on the diagonal about 3/4″ wide. The sharper you angle your knife when slicing, the longer the pieces will be.
Place the biscotti back onto the baking sheet on their side and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Remove the biscotti from the oven, and after 5 minutes, allow them to cool on a wire rack for at least a few hours before dipping.
I use melted semi-sweet baking chocolate for dipping the biscotti. I found the easiest way to do it is by using a spoon to scrape a thin layer of chocolate onto one end of the biscotti, and then hold it over the bowl of sprinkles and use my hand to “shower” it with sprinkles. If you try to roll the biscotti in sprinkles, the chocolate will get all goopy in the sprinkle bowl and you’ll have yourself a hot mess.
Place the dipped/sprinkle’d biscotti back onto the wire rack until the chocolate is set before storing in an airtight container. Biscotti can be stored for weeks at room temperature, or up to 6 months in a freezer.
These biscotti are great to have on hand if you’re having company over; offer them on a plate with tea or coffee. You can choose sprinkles fit for any occasion!
Chocolate Dipped Almond-Vanilla Biscotti
Yield 25-30 biscotti
These classic twice-baked cookies with hints of almond and vanilla are the perfect treat to serve alongside a cup of coffee or tea.
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 6 oz baking chocolate, chopped
- sprinkles, for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the extracts and eggs (one by one) to the mixture and beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing on low until thoroughly combined. Do not overmix!
- With floured hands, divide the dough into 2 sections and shape into 2 logs side by side, 9" long by 2" wide. Smooth the logs with a spatula and place into the oven for 22 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and lightly spritz the logs all over with room temperature water. Allow to soften for 5 minutes, then using a large serrated knife, slice the logs into 1/2" - 3/4" slices, cross-wise or on the diagonal, and place them on their side on the baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F, then bake the biscotti for an additional 25 minutes.
- Remove the biscotti from the oven, and after 5 minutes, place the biscotti on a wire rack to cool completely, at least 2 hours.
- In a shallow bowl, melt the chopped chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments or until the chocolate is smooth. Using a spoon or spatula, cover one end of the biscotti in chocolate, then shower the biscotti with sprinkles to fall over the chocolate. Place the biscotti back onto the wire rack to allow the chocolate to set.
- Biscotti will keep on the counter at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks, or up to 6 months in the freezer.