Monday, December 23, 2013

lemon, olive oil, and almond biscotti.

There was a time in my life, not too long ago, that I dismissed biscotti  in favor of the more fancy cookie varieties. Biscotti appeared so plain and boring when next to the chocolate-caramel-sea salt-nutty-oatty-cookies that are all the rage.  But you reach a point, usually after your third over the top cookie in a row when you want to reach for a palate cleanser, and that's where these shine.  

These biscotti may not look like much, but they pack a lot of flavor.  The combination of almonds, lemon, and olive oil is one of the most classic Italian pairings of all time and the reason it's been around for so long is because it's that good.  This particular biscotti recipe is one of my favorites.  They come together quickly, pack a flavor punch, and make for a wonderful addition to any cookie plate.  I also love pairing them with lemon or vanilla gelato if you are serving them in a more formal setting.  Or as a side to an afternoon cup of coffee as is the tradition in Italy.  

Lemon, Olive Oil, and Almond Biscotti
Recipe adapted from One Girl Cookies 

I streamlined this recipe because when I finally got around to making these I was looking for ways to make my life easier since I still had more cookies to make and a kitchen to clean.  I think my version allows you to whip these up with ease.

Makes about 48 cookies

1 cup almond flour
2 large eggs
Grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons (or 2 regular lemons or 1 lemon and and 1 orange)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Sicilian (preferred) or regular olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, lemon zest, sugar, olive oil, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, stopping two or three times to scrape down the bowl. Mix until the dough is just beginning to come together. Do not overmix.

Scoop the dough out onto a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, and shape it into 2 equal logs. The dough should be sticky—you may need to wet your hands slightly with water in order to work with it. Each log should be about as wide as two knuckles on your middle finger and about ½-inch tall. Bake for 14 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and bake for 14 more minutes. Let the logs cool on the baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees.  

Transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice the logs into ½-inch-thick biscotti. Put the biscotti on the parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them ½-inch apart. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and bake for 7 more minutes, or until the biscotti are slightly crisp on the exposed sides. Transfer them to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

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