When paying for my Starbucks coffee long ago, I made a uncharacteristic impulse buy at the counter. A little cellophane wrapped biscotti cookie with some irresistable flavor combination said to me, "if you buy me, you will look super sophisticated." So I snatched it up, unwrapped it, took a bite, and promptly threw it in the trash. Little did my little sophisticated ass know, biscotti's are meant to be dunked. Dunked in coffee, dunked in tea, dunked in hot cocoa, dunked in wine (oh yes!).. whatever the beverage of your choice, the little biscotti's would like a drink, too. Many years passed before biscotti's crossed my mind again. It's possible that you, too, haven't thought of biscotti's for years, before now. But my friends, I am here to introduce you to the perfect afternoon snack.
This biscotti business started for me when Jeff and I gave up coffee for tea. I was initially resistant to this change and continued to brew myself a half pot of coffee every morning and drink the whole thing within hours. Then my stomach started hurting, so I jumped on board with Jeff and went tea full time. The thing about tea is...there's just not much of a buzz. After months of drinking just tea, I still feel in a fog every morning and by the afternoon I'm hurting. So like a proper English Lady, I have myself a spot of tea everyday around 3:30 PM. It's my afternoon ritual. I put Marlo down for a nap, and she cries herself to sleep just in time for my tea to cool down enough for sipping. But something was missing. I was always a bit hungry (ok a lot hungry, I am nursing after all). The English enjoy crumpets with their tea, but what on Earth is a crumpet - right? Then I saw Giada making these lovely sounding biscotti's, and thought they were just what was missing in my life.
You would think they were hard to make, but trust me - they couldn't be easier. You just need a lot of time, but not hands-on time. They just spend about an hour total in the oven, so you can't just whip them up quickly some afternoon - but almost. Another good thing is there aren't many ingredients and the ingredients are far from exotic. You should know by now that I appreciate this. Giada's original recipe calls for the cookies to be dipped in chocolate, but to me, that didn't sound tea-friendly. So instead, I made a lemon glaze to drizzle over them. Remember - dunk. I'm not gonna lie, even these cookies are gross "undunked" so brew up some tea and enjoy the experience!
Almond & Lemon Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
grated lemon zest from 2-3 lemons
3/4 cup whole almonds coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
In another large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixture until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Mix in the lemon zest, almond extract and then the flour, and beat until just blended. (The dough will be sticky). Stir in the almonds. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Divide the dough evenly into 2 equal mounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. With moist hands, space the dough evenly apart and form into 2 (9 by-3-inch) logs. Bake for 35 minutes until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick diagonal slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the same baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are pale golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.To make the glaze, whisk together the lemon juice and confectioners sugar. Drizzle over cookies and let dry before storing cookies in an airtight container.
Biscotti will keep for at least a week.