Biscotti is a delicious accompaniment to a perfectly brewed pot of coffee or espresso. One of my favorite ways to enjoy biscotti is as an addition to my espresso affogato (I will be doing an Instagram post later this week, but you get to see it first if you keep scrolling!). Unlike store-bought biscotti, which is frequently hard as a rock, my biscotti is dense and dry (deliberately designed for dipping into coffee to soak up the liquid), yet tender enough to not risk cracking a tooth. Biscotti can be made with many different dried fruits, nuts, and spices. I prefer mine to be rather simple so that each bite is mostly espresso-drenched cookie, with a subtle hint of complimentary flavor…. I use mine mostly as a vehicle for coffee, not as a cookie to be eaten on its own. Below is my favorite way to enjoy these crusty cookies.
Talk about a great start to the morning, right? Espresso affogato is simply vanilla ice cream with espresso poured over. I’ve been using this moka pot for years to brew my espresso and I highly recommend it. The ice cream I’m using is homemade (of course… what else did you expect?) and I followed the recipe for “Vanilla Bean Ice Cream” (in my opinion, it is more of a custard due to the use of eggs) that is in the booklet that came with my ice cream maker, which I have also used for years and highly recommend. Since I’m already making recommendations, I will add that I’m thoroughly enjoying my subscription to Victoria Magazine and am planning on renewing. Now for the biscotti recipe…
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (half a stick), room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¾ cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Put the butter and sugar in a mixer (or use a hand-held mixer) and beat until pale and fluffy, about a minute or so. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
Reduce the mixer speed to low, and carefully add the eggs, extracts, and cream. Mix slowly and carefully until completely combined. Slowly add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Gently mix in the sliced almonds.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Carefully turn out the dough onto the baking sheet, and flatten into a rectangle that is about a half inch thick.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway during baking time. When you remove from the oven, allow it to cool enough to handle without burning yourself, but leave the oven on.
Once cool enough to handle, cut into desired shapes (biscotti is usually cut into strips that are between a half-inch to one inch wide) and lengths. Arrange the cut pieces on their sides (so a cut side will be facing up), and return to the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Carefully turn the cookies so the opposite cute site is now up, and return to oven for another 8-10 minutes. If you prefer softer biscotti, bake for 8 minutes per side. If you prefer really dry and crisp, then bake for 10 minutes per side.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before storing. Biscotti can last for several weeks if stored in an airtight container. Dry biscotti will store longer than soft biscotti, so keep that in mind when decided how long to bake the slices.
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