1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tsp grated orange zest
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
(optional : I like to add a sprinkle of chopped dried cranberries)
In mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, almond extract and orange zest. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt (if using). Add to the creamed mixture, mixing until blended. Fold almonds into the mix by hand. If you choose to add some cranberries now is the time for those as well.
Divide dough in half. Place on greased and floured baking sheet (or use parchment paper on sheet .. so much easier) and form into two logs about 1/2 inch thick, 1 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Space them at least 2 inches apart. Bake in the middle of a preheated 325 F (160 C) oven for 25 mins. or til golden brown. Transfer from baking sheet to a rack to let cool for about 10 mins or so. Be a bit careful as they are fragile enough to crack apart at this stage. If using parchment paper it is easy to transfer them to the rack just by sliding the paper off tray and onto rack…then take the paper out from under them as it seems to keep them moist if left. You almost need them to dry a bit before attempting to slice them. Though, having said that… test them for yourself a few times ….see which you prefer.
Place on cutting board and using serrated knife, slice diagonally at 45 degree angle about 1/2 inch thick. Lay slices flat on the baking sheet and return to oven for about 10 minutes, turning them over once, to dry slightly. Let cool on rack. Store in tightly covered container. Makes about 2 dozen.
Tip: make sure you have a good serrated knife or you will have the edges breaking and crumbling on all of the slices. I have two serrated knives and neither is straight. I can’t figure out how they warp or bend somehow….surely they must have been straight at one time?
My personal preference? …. A hacksaw. Yep. You read it right. I have my very own. I call it my Biscotti Blade and I am sure they should sell them. However, since I am too stupid and/or lazy to figure out how to manufacture and market the idea…somebody get on it. How about a cute little copper or brass handle and a lovely shiny blade? Anyway… check out my great slices with their perfect edges. No crumbling at the ends either. I love my new idea.!
This recipe was given to me years ago and I am sorry to say I am not sure where it actually comes from. If you don’t have an orange handy, it is equally delicious without the zest.. and with or without nuts for that matter. … it can be for everyday or you can dress it up and use it for Christmas or a special occasion. I happen to dress mine in cranberries all the time just because I like them …