Friday, June 10, 2011

Lemon Almond Biscotti


Jeez louise. Is it ever hot here. I've arrived in New York and have started work at Serious Eats. I'm living in NYU housing over in Greenwich Village, and the SE offices just recently relocated to Chinatown. Despite the blistering heat, I walk to work every day, leaving earlier than I need to in order to allow ample time for meandering through the side streets. Each trip to and from work adds at least three more restaurants to my "Must Try" list.

There's Papatzul, a vibrant and colorful Mexico City-style restaurant on Grand St. There's La Esquina, another Mexican restaurant, on Kenmare. There's the Corner Shop Cafe, a sort of American Nouveau diner, on Broadway and Bleecker, Balaboosta, a Middle Eastern trattoria, on Mulberry, and Rice to Riches, dedicated solely to rice pudding, on Spring St. Every corner of every block of every street has something wildly delicious and enticing to offer.

The one thing I do have to complain about, other that the lovely, mild weather, is my itty bitty kitchen. Honestly, I'm not sure what I expected, but I was not prepared for a kitchen without a microwave, two broken burners, and an oven the size of an Easy Bake. Until yesterday, I didn't even have plates to eat off of, let alone a spatula and mixing bowl, so baking has been out of the picture. Don't worry though. I have two treats planned to make tonight to bring to a picnic in Central Park tomorrow afternoon.

In the meantime, I want to share a recipe I made a while back with you. Biscotti is a staple in my house. Even though we hide it in the highest cabinet, on the back of the shelf, inside of a bag, inside of a tin, you can't keep us away from it. When we lived in Chicago, we always bought La Tempesta biscotti from FoodStuffs. Once we moved, we'd still cart it back on our occasional trips, as we only found it on the rare, but delightful, occasion at Marshall's or T.J. Maxx. After a while, Marshall's and T.J. Maxx stopped getting shipments, and eventually FoodStuffs stopped carrying it too.

I should warn you- I only got one decent photo of the biscotti, so instead, I'll share a photo of my friend Ellie and me dressed as geishas. I hope it suffices!

It was then that we had to look to our own kitchen to satisfy our needs. Because a life without biscotti was unthinkable. These are sweet and crunchy, although not quite as hard as I like mine. I altered the recipe a bit to suit my tastes, swapping pistachios for almonds, omitting the cranberries, and adding a squeeze of lemon juice for brightness. This recipe was good, but I'm still on the hunt for my perfect one. Do any of you have one you'd like to share?

Lemon Almond Biscotti
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
Makes about 4 dozen

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3 eggs, plus one egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 375. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. Beat butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer for two minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the 3 eggs, one at a time, and beat to incorporate. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour mixture, with the mixer on low speed, until it the dough comes together and all of the flour has been incorporated. Fold in the almonds. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape each piece into a 16-by-2-inch log and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Flatten the logs slightly, brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle extra sugar over top. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly for about 20 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 300. Place logs on a cutting board and cut on a diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices, using a serrated knife. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and bake for another 30 minutes, or until they are firm to the touch. Let cool.

Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

More Biscotti Recipes
Bacon Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Ginger Pecan Biscotti
Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti


  1. Try Maida Heatter's recipe for Biscotti Cioccolato; I add extra chocolate chips. It's delish: