How many of you are coffee drinkers? I’m guessing a lot of you. So whats even better than enjoying a perfectly brewed cup of coffee? Pairing it with crunchy biscotti.
I personally have been drinking coffee semi-consistently since college mainly to help me stay awake while I studied and also to pair with whatever cookie or sweet treat I was eating. Well, perhaps saying I use to drink “coffee” is a bit of a stretch. It was more like brown water with a ton of creamer and sugar. Blah.
Over time my palate evolved and so did my coffee standards. I began to actually like and appreciate the taste of coffee and the different roasts without the need to drown it in sugar and cream. However one thing that has not changed, aside from my ferocious sweet tooth, is my love of coffee and cookies. Specifically coffee and biscotti.
Oh biscotti, you crunchy devil you. I’ve had a love affair with biscotti for a long time (shhh, don’t tell the hubs). The first time I made biscotti I was about 18. Bored on summer break I decided to give these a try. I remember being super nervous that they wouldn’t turn out or that I would burn them. To my surprise they were a lot easier to make than expected and they did not turn out half bad! From that point on, I started making biscotti for myself, my coffee-drinking parents and as gifts.
Over the last 11 years, I’ve tested different recipes with dozens of flavors. Chocolate, almond, cinnamon, lemon, orange, raisins, cranberries, you name it. Also I’ve eaten biscotti made in the US and biscotti made in Italy. And my realization is this there are 2 types of biscotti. Italian and American.
Originating in Italy, Biscotti (literally meaning twice baked cookies) are traditionally made without butter or oil. This yields a very crunchy and dry cookie. I personally prefer this version because its less crumbly than the American and withstands lots of coffee dunking. However a word of caution, this is a dunking cookie. Simply dip them in your favorite beverage for a few seconds and they will soften ready to be eaten. Don’t try to eat them without dunking in coffee, tea, or some sort of drink. Otherwise you might chip a tooth! I’m kidding… well kinda 😉
On to the American version. This one has either butter or oil which makes for a more delicate crunch. It’s almost like comparing the crunch of a cheerios vs the crunch of a mouthful of almonds. Different but both crunchy. American biscotti can be enjoyed without dunking although I would still recommend dunking 🙂 Also make sure you do a quick dunk because these will absorb the liquid quickly and can dissolve if left in your beverage for too long.
Alright, so today I will be sharing a classic Italian Almond Biscotti (these are the crunchier ones). Get your coffee ready!
Italian Almond Biscotti
Do you need crunchy sidekick for your coffee? Then give these Italian almond biscotti try. They are fun dunkable little treats that are easy to make, fun to give as a foodie gift and perfect to save for later. Oh and did I mention they have no fat? Guilt-free sweet treat, yes please!
Yields roughly 16 Almond Biscotto depending on the size.
- 3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted and chopped coarsely (sliced or slivered almonds work as well)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- *Optional: 1 extra egg for an egg wash
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Spread almonds on a cookie sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes. Once toasted, turn the oven down to 325°F, let the nuts cool and then give them a coarse chop. Set almonds aside. In the meantime, start the biscotti dough.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk (by hand or mixer) together 2 eggs and sugar until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Whisk in almond extract. Use a spatula to stir in dry ingredients until just combined. Lastly fold in the chopped almonds.
Using well floured hands (dough will be sticky) divide dough into two equal pieces. With the first dough half, form a 2-inch wide log on the cookie sheet. Next form a second log with the remaining dough. Make sure they are spaced apart as they will grow a little bit.
To give the biscotti a golden brown shine, lightly beat an egg to create an egg wash and brush the tops of the 2 logs.
Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake until golden brown, 30 minutes.
Once out of the oven carefully transfer the logs to a cutting board and let cool 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut logs into 1-inch cookies either straight for smaller biscotti or diagonal for longer biscotti. Place cookies, cut side up, on the baking sheet (remove the parchment or silicone mat). Bake until just lightly toasted, 12 minutes on one side and then flip biscotti and bake for another 12 minutes on the other side.
Make sure the biscotti are dry when they come out of the oven. Note they will harden further as they cool.
Enjoy with a warm mug of your favorite beverage.
*I did not use an egg wash for this batch. But feel free to add an egg wash as it creates a beautiful golden shimmery top crust.
Don’t like almonds, try a different nut! Hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans. Don’t like nuts, try chocolate chips, cranberries, cinnamon, lemon zest or orange zest.
To give these as gifts, I like to either pack them in little plastic gift bags (check out Michael or Target), air tight glass jars, or fun holiday tin containers. It’s also a great hostess gift or party favor for coffee the morning after.