Friday, November 21, 2008

To make and give: Blissful biscotti


I'm writing away as the radio tells me how much money I've lost today, and I'm thinking also of the holiday season, of all the people I want to thank and delight. A gift made with your own hands transcends the commercial. Seems like a good time to offer my recipe for biscotti, which I make and give to office colleagues, Mirielle, who owns my wonderful vintage store, the neighbours. Past recipients now hint that they hope I won't forget theirs.

The easy recipe makes lots (though I make at least three batches) and the cookies keep very well. You could add a package of great coffee or tea for a special gift.

Almond Hazelnut Biscotti

1 ½ c toasted whole blanched almonds

5 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar

½ cup butter, melted
Zest from 1 ½ lemons
4 cups all purpose flour
½ cup toasted ground hazelnuts

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch salt


In a food processor with metal blade, coarsely chop ½ cup almonds, set aside.


In large bowl, whip eggs till frothy. Stir in sugar, melted butter and zest.


In a separate bowl, stir toget
her flour, hazelnuts, whole almonds, chopped almonds, baking powder and cinnamon, stir into egg mixture until dough is formed.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment. With hands, form dough into 4 logs, 12 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide. (Two logs per cookie sheet). Smooth top and sides.

Bake in 350 oven for 25 minutes or until firm.

Cool slightly. While still warm, slide logs back onto work surface, cut into 1/2 inch slices. Return to coo
kie sheets, cut side down, bake for another 20 min. or until crisp and browned.

Makes at least 5 dozen cookies. Store in airtight tin. Best aged 2 weeks.

When I give them, I put a dozen or so in a paper bag and tie with ribbon.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Délicieuses gourmandises! Grazie tante!




Orane

greying pixie said...

Orane, isn't it 'grazie tanto' or 'tante grazie'?

Anyway, I'll stick to 'merci beaucoup' duchesse. I usually make pickle in October from my crop of green tomatos and windfall apples from the tree in the garden. I give small jars to friends as small gifts at Christmas and I'm told it is just mature enough to be opened for Christmas Day supper - strong piece of cheese, fruit and my pickle.

But your idea will make a great change this year. I'm definitely going to try it.

I also find these personal sort of presents are an easy way of giving to people who are often better off financially than me (most people are!) and are really wanting for nothing. There's nothing more touching than knowing that someone has taken time to make you something - as every mother knows!

Duchesse said...

GP: Trade you recipes? We also sometimes make jam. But the biscotti are nice because no canning. A neighbour makes me spiced nuts, I love those!

Julianne said...

Thanks for an new recipe, my daughter and I make biscotti every Christmas. I love love love it!

Karen said...

Oooh yeah, I love making this!!! There are so many varieties to do, and as a gift, it impresses so much! They freeze well for packaging up later, too! Love your occasional recipe inspiration! Have yet to make the moules,,,just too warm yet...

gp said...

duchesse, Will send you a pickle recipe when I have time - I'm in the middle of thesis crises these days, your blog is just a brief respite for me when I come up for air! Will send it before next green tomato season!

Deja Pseu said...

Mmmm, looks delicious!