insecurities and also to give advice to others.
First, if you want the ULTIMATE biscotti, you should caramelize the almonds. I mix both in the recipe. About half and half.
To do this is quite easy. In a bowl place the amount of almonds you wish to caramelize. I usually do A LOT, so I have enough for three or four batches. They don't go bad, and they are also great to toss in with a salad for that extra zing!
Add distilled or spring water mixed with sugar. I NEVER use tap.. But if you have 'good' water than great. Since you DON'T want them to be too sweet because of the calories use about a half a cup of organic sugar. It's better. Mix in a two to three tablespoons of cinnamon and two tablespoons of vanilla extract. I like mine very cinnamonny, so I use three. Pour the sugared water over the almonds just enough to cover them ... If you have too much add more almonds, if not enough add more water. Easy. Mix well and set for a half an hour. Now if you REALLY want them amazing, soak them overnight. Don't refrigerate, nothing will happen to them. The longer they sit, the more solution they absorb.
Preheat oven at 250 degrees. Use a nonstick cookie pan. Make sure it has some lip on it so the liquid stays. Place them in the pan and spread them out well. Just enough liquid to coat the almonds, you don't want them sitting in liquid. Just use a bit extra. Keep the left over and do another batch. You can do more almonds, pecans, or walnuts, they are all fantastic caramelized.
Bake about a half hour and then mix them up a bit and bake another ten to fifteen minutes. SInce all ovens are different check them on occasion. It could take longer or less time. You want them toasted and dry before taking them out. When done, remove and loosen them in the pan. Cool in pan on a rack.
Now, here's the recipe for the biscotti... This is my double recipe, it makes about twenty five to thirty, three inch biscotti.
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour (add extra half cup if using all extracts. dough shouldn't be sticky so add as much as needed after mixing original recipe)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup organic or natural sugar (can substitute regular) I use a few lines less than a cup so not a full cup.
6 tablespoons of butter, softened
3 JUMBO eggs or 4 large eggs (I prefer jumbo for this recipe)
2 teaspoons of almond extract
2 teaspoons of anise extract
1 cup or more, depending on preference of slice almonds. (half regular-half caramelized)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda in medium bowl. Mix with spoon. place aside.
In large bowl beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and extracts and beat well. SLOWLY add flour a third at a time, mixing all flour in before adding more. At this point it should be a thick dough. Again, if too sticky add more flour but not TOO MUCH... it shouldn't be crumbly. lt should be workable in your hands. Add almonds a bit a time. Mix into dough well. You want almonds EVERYWHERE in the dough. OR if you prefer less use less. I love lots of almonds in mine.
When dough is workable, it should be easy to divide. If sticky add more flour. BUT DON'T make the dough crumble. If this happens add a bit of water.
Roll into about twelve inch lengths and flatten on ungreased cookie sheet. Flip it, an flatten again. It should be about a half an inch thick. I usually get two twelve inch rolls and one around ten inches. You want it to be about two to three inches wide when flattened. On top I usually encrust a few more caramelized almonds.
Bake for about twenty-five minutes or until firm. Don't overbake or they will crumble when you cut them. Cool on baking sheets for five minutes. Cut into slices of about 3/4 inch. I cut mine on a diagonal, but you can cut them across if you desire. Arrange cut sides down on sheet and bake another fifteen to twenty minutes. Watch them... You want them toasted and crunchy not doughy or burnt... Remove and place pans on racks to cool.
Now if you want an extra bit of punch.... melt semi sweet chocolate morsels and drizzle on top. Of course this adds calories, so keep that in mind. Perhaps on a special occasion or when you feel like you want a REAL treat.
Well that's it... after cooling store in a tin. Not plastic... they will get soft. Put some paper towel on the bottom of tin and place cookies carefully inside.
ENJOY! Let me know how they turn out!