#SamLikesItHot: Almond biscotti

Sam Oh
Biscotti are the perfect companion to add some flavor and crunch to your rainy day drink

CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE MATCH. Biscotti are crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Photo by Sam Oh

MANILA, Philippines – Rainy days beg for a warm drink. Whatever your drink of choice may be — coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk or even wine — biscotti are the perfect companion to add some flavor and crunch, not to mention some substance to turn your drink into a light snack. 

Biscotti [singular, “biscotto”] are crunchy log-shaped biscuits that originate from Italy. Aside from the endless flavor combinations, one of the best things about biscotti is their long shelf life owing to their dryness. They also make wonderful gifts when placed in a jar and tied with a pretty bow [hint, hint — Christmas!].

For my biscotti, I went the classic route and made them with lots and lots of whole roasted almonds. As mentioned earlier, you can not only change up the nuts but also add dried fruit, spices, fruit zest and chocolate chips.

They’re also quite simple to make, so feel free to play around with this recipe which makes about 27 biscotti:

  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • 2 t almond extract
  • 2 cups roasted whole almonds

1. Pre-heat your oven to 175 C/350 F. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium mixing bowl using a hand mixer. This will result in a grainy mixture. Add in the eggs and whisk some more. You’ll end up with something like this:

Photo by Sam Oh

2. Add flour, baking powder, salt and almond extract into the bowl and whisk some more. The resulting dough will feel a bit too dense and dry but do not worry.

Photo by Sam Oh

3. Add roasted almonds and fold. A side note on the almonds: I bought raw whole almonds and popped them in the oven to roast because I find that roasted nuts are so much more flavorful. I also love the slight smokiness in roasted nuts. Roasting the almonds is completely optional, of course. Raw almonds should work just fine.

Photo by Sam Oh

4. Line the baking tray with parchment paper and spread the biscotti dough on top. This recipe is best divided into 3 narrow batches. Any bigger and they are hard to slice later. This spreads once it hits the oven so make sure to give them room on the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Photo by Sam Oh

5. Once they’re done baking, let them cool for about 5 minutes and slice into logs. I find that the easiest way to slice them is while they’re still warm, with a large knife and with a swift motion. 

Photo by Sam Oh

6. Take the logs back to the baking tray and lay them on the side as seen below. Bring them back to the oven for a second baking (“biscotti” means “twice-baked” after all!) for about 10 to 15 minutes or until they are browned and crisped to your liking.

Photo by Sam Oh

If you’d like them with some crunch outside and softer inside, you can just pop them back in the oven for about 5 minutes to rid the biscotti of moisture. That’s what I did — my guinea pigs [Mom and Dad] don’t take to dry and crunchy things anymore in their old age.

To serve, I made a warm cup of tsokolate with some local unsweetened chocolate I picked up at The Manila Collectible Company. 

Photo by Sam Oh

Instead of sweetening my tsokolate with sugar, I stirred in copious amounts of Nutella. Oh, yum.

All that’s missing is a good book and the bed but once the biscotti are done, that’s the easy part. Enjoy! – Rappler.com

 

If you’re looking for unique and beautiful indigenous pasalubong items (enough with the barrelmen and penis ashtrays!) or just some fun and delicious local foodstuff, you must visit The Manila Collectible Company! I highly recommend the chorizo pate, tsokolate con krema and Bicol Express bagoong, among many others.

Check out our other recipes:

Sam Oh

Sam Oh is a professional TV and events host, radio jock and foodie. Catch her on radio at First Thing In The Morning with Sam and Gibb on Magic 89.9, Monday to Thursday, 6am to 9am. She is also a food blogger at Sam Likes It Hot. If you have questions or recipe requests, email desk@rappler.com with subject heading SAM LIKES IT HOT.



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