I've never actually attempted making biscotti before, though I've had it on the back burner for quite some time. I'm a religious coffee drinker so I'm a little surprised with myself for not whipping these out sooner. Because we all know nothing goes better with a warm cup 'o' jo [I'm full on Irish now, apparently] then a crunchy, sweet stick of biscotti. Especially this biscotti.
I'm pleased to say that the process of making this biscotti is outrageously easy. Even I was surprised! But I've found that some of the most delicious goodies I've made have been the most simple. Funny how that works, huh? Guess that's why I named my blog what I did!
Anywho, as for the flavors, I chose to do something rather, again, simple. Especially since this was my first go-around, I didn't want to sprint out of the gates just yet. I, instead, wanted to start with a more basic recipe, something I could eventually adapt in the future with my own spices and add-ins. And let me tell you, I stumbled upon the most absolute greatest biscotti I've had to date. No lie.
But what makes this biscotti as special as I'm describing is not only the lovely almond flavors [think almond extract, everyone's fav!] but, what I would like to call, the secret ingredient: yellow cornmeal.
O. M. G. Yellow cornmeal is my new best friend. Not because of it's flavor [it basically has none], but because of the texture it adds to the biscotti. Obviously biscotti is crunchy by nature, but the cornmeal adds another element, something I'm having a really hard time explaining but you'll notice it after the first bite. Assuming you make these, of course. Which you must.
I've been dreaming about these little biscotti hunks the moment I ate the last one. Yeah, they're gone already. So sue me. But what I'm really excited for in the next round is the endless varieties of biscotti that I [and you] can conjure up. Like I said, this Cinnamon-Almond Biscotti is very straightforward [yet SO good!], leaving room for any types of spices and add-ins you can dream up [think nutmeg, pumpkin spice, dried fruits, nuts, citrus zests, glazes, chocolates]. See? Endless.
You're welcome .
- When the biscotti are baking for the first time, the dough will spread quite a bit. But don't do as I did and freak out, this is supposed to happen. Be patient and your biscotti will turn out looking lovely.
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp. almond extract
3/4 c. sliced almonds
- Heat oven to 350°F and center rack in oven. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add cornmeal and whisk to blend. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with mixer on medium speed until very smooth (about 3 minutes). Add eggs and continue to beat until mixture is light, smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). Beat in almond extract. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated. Add almonds and mix just to blend.
- Place half of dough onto one side of baking sheet. Using your hands and a spatula, work dough into a log about 12 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide (the log will be more rectangular than domed, and bumpy, rough and uneven). Form a second log with the remaining dough on the other side of the sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes or until logs are lightly golden but still soft and springy to the touch. Transfer baking sheet to a rack and cool logs on baking sheet for 30 minutes.
- Transfer logs to cutting board and with a serrated knife, trim the ends and cut logs into 3/4-inch thick slices. Return the slices to the baking sheet, standing upright. Bake 15 minutes or until golden and firm. Transfer biscotti to racks to cool.
Yield: 30 biscotti