Friday, October 8, 2010

Almond Biscotti

When I saw the Dispensing Happiness post last week for 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies I couldn't believe how close to Christmas it is already! But I did go ahead and count weeks and they are right - we're T minus 12... So even though I missed the first week, I want to join the cookie challenge. I may not make "Christmas" cookies each week, but baking is stepping out of my comfort zone so it will be fun to look for various cookies to make each week for the next few months.

I started with a simple Almond Biscotti that I found in the Holiday Cookies: And Other Festive Treats cookbook. I went with this one because a) I love biscotti; and b) I don't know how to use a rolling pin. Why do so many cookies call for the use of a rolling pin? And cookie cutters? What a pain.

These are relatively easy to make. I did have a bit of a challenge with parchment paper because I never used it before and it kept rolling up, but it ended up being functional (meaning I got the dough on it and it didn't stick to anything) so that's all that matters.

I showed this recipe to a buddy of mine before I made it and he mentioned that he doesn't like cranberries, so I substituted for dried cherries that I chopped up. All I can say is - yum! And these go great with tea or coffee.

See more cookies at the roundup of 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies - Week 2 hosted by Abby Sweets.

Almond Biscotti
Makes 24

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
a good pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
2 baking sheets, lined with baking parchment

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer or wooden spoon, until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs.

Stir the flour, slat, and baking powder into the bowl and work in with a wooden spoon. When almost combined, add the cranberries and almonds and mix thoroughly to make a soft dough.

Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and divide into 2 equal portions. Using well floured hands, lift a portion of dough onto each prepared baking sheet and shape into a brick 10 x 3½ inches. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Using a serrated bread knife, slice the logs (still on the sheets) on the diagonal about 1/3 inch thick. Put, cut-side down, on the sheets and return to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes until starting to color.

Remover the baking sheets from the oven, put on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container and eat within 3 weeks.


Lisa said...

I love biscotti too. It always looks impressive, yet, as you mentioned, it's one of the easiest cookies to make since it doesn't require special tools (which I also don't have). Great pick.

April said...

Mmmm, biscotti! Looks wonderful!

Pam said...

Your biscotti is beautiful. I am sure it tastes fantastic, too - you can't go wrong with almonds! Thanks for sharing!

Sue said...

Your almond biscotti looks great and sounds delicious!

Katrina said...

Yum to biscotti. You could even kick this one up a little more with some almond extract.

Bonnie said...

I love baking with cherries. This is such a versatile cookie. So pretty.

April said...

Hi Rachel..send me an email at and I will forward you the linky info. Thanks!

amanda @ fake ginger said...

Yum! You can't go wrong with biscotti!

The Mistress of Spices said...

Mmmm biscotti! Sounds delish. I've never tried making it on my own, your post has me thinking I should try!