As David and I were driving back to Connecticut from our Pennsylvania home in Saturday’s snowstorm I realized there was no going back to fall. In that case, I went ahead and declared the holidays officially here.
And since we’re in full holiday mode, I was reminded of Sharon’s biscotti recipe from last year that she didn’t post until three days before Christmas!
This year I wanted to remind bakers sooner in the season of what I consider the ultimate biscotti recipe, so I featured Sharon’s biscotti recipe in this week’s USA Weekend column. For that reason, there’s also a video to share!
Since Sharon knows how much I adore these cookies, she made a big tin for my birthday this year. Her aunts love these cookies too, so she baked up a batch for our family reunion. Surrounded by monster cookies and bars on the dessert buffet, these little biscotti were the first to go. And why not? With these sweet treats you get all of the pleasure, none of the guilt.
Sharon has already asked me to make them for her wedding this December. (I’m honored.) Until then I’ll keep a batch on hand for me and whoever else can join me late afternoon for a cup of tea.
Let the holidays begin!
Sharon’s Almond Biscotti
Makes about 12 dozen
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, 2 egg yolks, and one egg white for brushing
2 cups granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons almond liqueur, such as Disaronno
1 tablespoon anise seed
4 cups coarsely chopped whole almonds
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle and upper positions and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat eggs, egg yolks, and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light, about 2 minutes; beat in vanilla, liqueur, and anise. Beat in dry ingredients and then almonds to form sticky but workable dough.
Divide dough into four portions on a heavily floured board, rolling each portion into an approximate 15- by 2-inch log. Carefully transfer 2 logs to each baking sheet brushing each with egg white and sprinkling with sugar. Bake until pale golden and just beginning to crack, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool cookie logs on baking sheet until tepid, about 40 minutes. Keeping oven racks in position heat oven to 200 degrees. Slice logs diagonally 1/2-inch thick with a serrated knife, laying slices on baking sheets in single layer. (There will be enough cookies for 3 sheets.) Working 2 sheets at a time bake biscotti until crisp and golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. (Can be stored in airtight container up to 2 weeks.)