Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Beautiful Biscotti, found on pages 199 & 200 of Teresa Guidice’s book Skinny Italian. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was my choice. Every now and then I buy a package of biscotti at the grocery store, and I like it. When I was looking through Skinny Italian and saw the biscotti recipe, I knew I wanted to give it a try.
All-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, sliced almonds, eggs, vanilla (in the rum bottle), and confectioner’s sugar (for dusting). As a side note, the recipe called for almond extract, but we don’t care for that stuff in our house (almonds, yes – almond extract, no.) so I just used extra vanilla.
Whip together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla ’til it’s thick and pale yellow. While that’s going on, combine your flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Stir the flour mixture and almonds into the egg mixture to make a sticky dough. At the last moment, I decided to add 1 cup of chocolate chips into the mixture, because chocolate makes everything better, AMIRIGHT?
Then sprinkle the confectioner’s sugar over the work surface, and transfer the dough to said work surface.
Kinda looks like chocolate chip cookie dough, doesn’t it?
So far, so good. Everything was going as planned, instructions were clear, I was following them easily enough.
And then everything went to shit. Because one thing I cannot stand is sticky fucking dough. It drives me nuts. I hate it when dough sticks to my hands because, I don’t know. I JUST HATE IT. And as much as I kneaded that DAMN dough, it wasn’t getting any less sticky. It seemed to be getting MORE sticky, and I was getting more and more pissed off.
At one point, I kid you not, I was swearing at the top of my lungs and THROWING handfuls of powdered sugar at the friggin’ dough. Oh, I was THIS close to just pitching it in the trash and stomping off. But I persevered, because that’s the kind of survivor I am. I STAND STRONG in the face of sticky dough. I know, I’m inspiring.
Finally the FUCKING dough stopped being so sticky, and I got it shaped into a log and transferred to the baking sheet, which I had lined with parchment paper.
While it baked, I cleaned up the mess.
While I cleaned up the mess, I was judged by kittens.
“What’s YOUR problem, lady? I’d LOVE to be able to mix up food any ol’ time I wanted, instead of having to depend on stupid stinky HUMANS to do it.”
“She threw that perfectly good powdered sugar in the garbage! HUMANS are so WASTEFUL.”
This is what the dough looked like after 30 minutes, lightly browned and cracked:
“Yer doing it WRONG, lady. GOD!”
After it cooled for 30 minutes, I sliced it in half-inch slices.
And yes, I needed that stupid measuring tape, because I’m not good with eyeballing measurements.
Did I taste a piece of the biscotti at this point? You bet I did. It was like a crunchy, less sweet chocolate chip cookie.
This is what it looked like when it had baked for 10 minutes on each side. You can’t tell, but it’s lightly browned.
And this is what it looks like on a plate.
And then with a kitten getting his nosy nose all over it.
The verdict? It was pretty good. I wish it had been a bit sweeter, but biscotti isn’t meant to be all that sweet. I made it four days ago and most of it is still left. I’m going to call it a “meh”, but it’s not the recipe’s fault. It tastes exactly like biscotti is supposed to, but apparently biscotti isn’t really our thing. If I am overcome with the need to shove biscotti in my face, I’ll get a small box of it at the grocery store.
I made a mug of hot chocolate to dunk a piece of biscotti in (it says in the book that dunking it in coffee “brings it back to life, all soft and chewy and full of flavor”, but I don’t do coffee), but meh. Nope. Not for me.
Okay, here’s a behind the scenes story on this recipe. Robyn brilliantly picked out some diet-y chocolate pie recipe that forced you to grind up figs or some shit to pretend it’s chocolate. And then one day I was being all nebshitty (nosy) over on GOMI (Get off my Internets) and apparently the author of the recipe is enough of a mess that she has her own discussion thread (cuckoo-cuckoo-whack-a-doodle-doo) so I emailed Robyn and suggested we try something else.
I think Robyn got pissy about wanting to make that fake chocolate pie because the next thing I know she’s telling me she wants to make biscotti. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Biscotti is a cookie that is meant to be dunked in coffee before eaten. Robyn hates coffee! And I hate dunking! Ugh. We were fucked before we even got started.
This is where I admit (again) that I am probably losing my mind. I could blame it on a hundred million things, but I’m pretty sure that the truth is in my hard wiring. I have had it in my head for a while now that I needed almond flour in order to make this recipe. I had Rick pick it up at the store for me and was thoroughly shocked when I saw how expensive it was.
For a one pound bag. WOW.
The best part was when I opened the recipe book up and saw that I only needed almonds, not almond flour! Then I spent hours trying to figure out what would make me think almond flour instead of plain ol’ almonds. I finally remembered that a few weeks ago I was reading a recipe for macaroons that called for almond flour. Apparently it made one helluva impression!
See the eggs in the pretty bowl? They were suppose to be room temperature. I didn’t want to mess up the recipe so I waited and waited for the whole room temperature thing to happen (the house is cold, man). Setting them under the lights wasn’t working…
so I put them under my sweater thinking maybe that would speed things along.
It took me a minute to realize that I probably didn’t need to heat up the bowl too. God, I’m such a dumb ass.
This was the sugar and egg mixture. Impressive, right?
Man, this didn’t look like it was going to go well.
After it was baked.
DO NOT EAT WITHOUT DUNKING IN LIQUID FIRST OR YOU WILL BREAK YOUR TEETH! But here’s the thing…these were really, really good! Shirley really liked them, too (I didn’t bother with Rick because he doesn’t like almonds). But if you’re not into sitting and dunking things into your drink, you’re not going to like these. I know for a fact that I’ll never eat them (I tried them, they were good, I won’t go near them again) because I’m not a dunker. I don’t like crumbs or anything in my coffee and the chance of me dripping on my clothes sends my OCD into a tizzy. But if you’re a dunker, GO FOR IT. You won’t be sorry.
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ c. (2 ounces) sliced natural almonds
- ¼ c. confectioner's sugar, for kneading
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whip the eggs, sugar, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl, mixing on high until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
- In another bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir into the egg mixture to make a stiff, sticky dough. Stir in the almonds.
- Sprinkle the confectioner's sugar over the work surface. Transfer the dough to the work surface, and knead gently until the dough is cohesive and loses its stickiness. Shape into a thick 8-inch log and transfer to the baking sheet.
- Shape the dough on the sheet into a log about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide.
- Bake until the dough is lightly browned and cracked, and feels set when pressed on the top, about 30 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF. Carefully transfer the log to a chopping board. Using a serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into ½-inch thick slices.
- Arrange the slices, flat sides down, on the baking sheet (you may need a second baking sheet; if so, place a second oven rack in the top third of the oven.)
- Bake until the surfaces begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Flip the biscotti over, and bake for another 10 minutes. The biscotti will become crisper when cooled. Transer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.