Recipe: Cinnamon Almond Biscotti
For my last cooking class of the season, my sister Liti cooked up a big batch of fabulous, not particularly tooth-breaking almond and cinnamon biscotti, as an end-of-the-meal treat. They were a perfect dessert after a Christmas Eve–style meal of Sicilian fish couscous and an orange and fennel salad. Everyone loved them, and I’ve had many requests for the recipe. Liti has supplied me with it. They’re pretty easy to make, and you can double or triple the recipe to feed a mob.
Cinnamon Almond Biscotti
(Makes about 4 dozen biscotti)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup fine corn meal
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick cold unsalted butter, just a tad under ice cold
2 large eggs
1¼ cups lightly toasted whole almonds
Plus about 2 extra tablespoons sugar and 1 of ground cinnamon, mixed
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, corn meal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt, and mix everything together well.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and vanilla, and beat with an electric mixer until you have pea-size pieces (don’t cream it completely). Add the eggs, and beat them in quickly. Add the flour mixture, and beat until it all just comes together in a slightly messy ball. Add the almonds, and work them in with a spoon.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Divide the dough into four equal parts, and roll each part into a log, about 1 inch thick and about 5 inches long (if the dough sticks, flour your work surface lightly with a little flour). Place the logs on two lightly buttered sheet pans, leaving about 4 inches between the logs. Flatten the tops of the logs a bit, and sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake until the logs are firm and lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Pull them from the oven, and let them cool for 10 minutes. Then cut the logs into approximately ½-inch slices on a slight angle with a non-serrated knife. Place the slices back on the baking sheets, cut side down, and bake again until the biscotti are nicely golden, about another 10 minutes. Let them cool, and then store them in a box or a kitchen-towel-lined basket. They’ll last about 5 days unrefrigerated. They are great dipped in a glass of medium dry white wine (I find vin santo a little too sweet for them).