There was a winter, quite a few years back, when I was rarely without a jar of these biscotti on my kitchen counter. I was a total addict, eating them every morning with my caffè latte, cleaning up crumbs mid-afternoon, dunking them into my bedtime tea. And then, my morning coffee habits changed and they fell off my radar. But only temporarily. Thank goodness.
I’m back to drinking milky coffee in the morning, thanks to the miracle of a stovetop frother I gave Matt for Christmas (a totally selfless act, of course), so it was only natural for my beloved biscotti to return as well. They’re everything I want with my cappuccino: crunchy and dunk-able, with a bit of cornmeal bite, plenty of almonds, bursts of bright citrus, and little hits of sweet here and there from dried currants. With a jar of these on the counter, I always have a very good reason to get out of bed…scratch that, leap out of bed.
Ready to make a batch of biscotti and a batch of equally beautiful mornings? Good, me too!
These are based off of a Giada de Laurentiis biscotti recipe. I mention that mostly because I was typing “giada bi-” into google to see if I could link to the original, and google finished my thought with “giada big head”. I laughed. Funny and true.
Sorry…I am easily distracted. Back to business–let’s mix up some biscotti dough. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. I always prefer biscotti that have a bit of cornmeal–it keeps them from turning to mush when dunked. Zest a couple of lemons and an orange, measure out roasted almonds and dried currants. Beat a few eggs with sugar until pale and fluffy.
Stir the citrus zest into the beaten eggs and follow it up with the dry ingredients.
Fold in the almonds and currants and your biscotti dough is complete. Don’t be alarmed–it should be that wet and sticky!
Line a baking sheet with parchment and divide the dough into 2 mounds. Shape each mound into a wide log and bake until lightly golden. Dip your fingers in water to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
Now pull the baked biscotti logs out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, then slice each one crosswise. You’ll want to use a serrated knife and use very short sawing motions to minimize breakage.
Pop the sliced biscotti back on the baking sheet and return them to the oven for their second baking.
After the second go-around in the oven, the biscotti will emerge golden, crunchy, and just begging to be dunked in a cup of coffee. Grab your cappuccino and go to town!
- 2 c. All-Purpose Flour
- ¾ c. Cornmeal
- 1½ tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 c. Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- zest of 1 Orange
- zest of 2 Lemons
- 1 c. Roasted Almonds
- ½ c. Dried Currants
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Stir in the citrus zest. Now add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Stir in the almonds and currants.
- Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet, dividing it into 2 equal mounds and pat each mound into an 8" x 4" log. Keep a little bowl of water nearby to moisten your hands and keep the dough from sticking to your palms.
- Bake until the logs are light gold, 35-40 minutes. Remove and cool for 5-10 minutes.
- After the logs have cooled a bit, use a serrated knife and cut each log, crosswise, into ½" slices. Use short sawing motions while holding the log steady to cut through the almonds without shattering the biscotto (you're bound to have a few that crumble/snacks for the baker along the way). Arrange the biscotti on the baking sheet (you will likely need a second), return to the oven, and bake until golden, 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Biscotti will keep well for quite some time, though mine never seem to last more than a couple of days.
These may be my favorite biscotti to have with coffee, but I also love making savory biscotti to serve with wine and cheese…