I’ve worked pretty diligently in the laboratory (re: apartment’s kitchen) to perfect a biscotti recipe that would be worthy of my partner’s Italian heritage (and his gastronomic stamp of approval). This is the formula that stuck…
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Spread ½ to ¾ cup almond slivers on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven for 8 minutes or so (until fragrant) while the oven is heating. Remove and let cool.
With a mixer, combine:
½ cup sugar (I use organic raw sugar…and I really think the raw sugar makes quite a difference)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs (or equivalent)
In a separate bowl, whisk together:
1 cup spelt flour (you can sub in all-purpose but I just love spelt flour)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Slowly blend the dry ingredients in to the wet until just combined.
Stir in the almonds, and ½ to ¾ cup dried cranberries
I line my cookie tray with parchment paper (you can use a silpat mat if you have) and form two (definitely imperfect!) logs, like this:
Try to keep them a compact width (I’d say about 2” – 3”) and about a foot long, but as they bake you’ll see it’s pretty forgiving. (NOTE: If the dough is feeling super, duper sticky and not holding its shape, you can toss in up to 1/4 c. additional flour.)
Bake for 35 minutes.
Don’t freak out if it looks like your logs have flattened out a bit more than you’d like: When you slice just sharpen the angle to give your biscotti some extra height. Let the logs cool about 10 minutes when you remove from the oven, then use a bread (serrated) knife and slice on a sharp angle (the sharper the angle, the longer the biscotti):
Place the slices on the cookie sheet and back in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove; flip around, and toast the other sides for another 10 minutes. As the biscotti are cooling, melt a 6 ounce premium white chocolate bar (I use Ghiardelli, either in a microwave or over a double boiler (the wrapper will have melting methods). I use a mixing bowl over sauce pan of gently boiling water.
Now it’s time to channel your inner Jackson Pollock. Spoon the melted chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a small round piping tip, or simply put in a small sandwich bag and cut a tiny hole out of one of the bottom corners (voila! Instant pastry bag. Try to use recycled bags to offset the indiscretion of wasting the bag on melted chocolate. Though is melted chocolate ever *really* a waste? :-)
Go bananas and pipe the melted goodness randomly across your tray of biscotti.
After they’ve dried for a while (when the chocolate firms) store in an airtight container. Since I was gifting mine, I bought oversized canning jars at a store in Manhattan called Surprise, Surprise, where the surprise is that there's a store in NYC where stuff like this is affordable (the larger jar was $3.25, I think). I whipped up some fancy labels (well…not fancy. They’re just done in Word and printed on clear shipping labels), and it’s off to the harvest party! (Or, family reunion as the case was here.)