The end of the year is sneaking up quickly on us, and the holiday season is squeezing itself in. As I start reflecting on the past year and look forward to the one that’s just round the corner, I think about so many of my favorite holiday snacks.
When I was little, my relatives would bring back souvenirs from their overseas trips, which usually took place during holiday season. And as a little girl, I’d wait anxiously for them to regale us with exotic treats and new foods.
Sometimes, we’d get stroopwaffles from the Netherlands, sometimes caramel custard from Japan, other times it was chocolate from somewhere near the Swiss Alps or nougat from Australia. You probably can understand why I got so easily excited when hearing that my relatives were coming to visit us after their vacations.
I don’t know about you, but I have a soft spot for crunchy snacks – the kind that you can feel and hear all at once, as you bite on them one by one. In particular, I had a favorite snack that I loved receiving – biscotti.
The first time I ate biscotti as a little girl, I marveled at how it was like a toast, a biscuit, and a dessert all rolled into one crispy, crunchy, flavorful snack. What an ingenious invention! My child’s mind couldn’t wrap itself around how something so wonderful could exist. I assumed it was an exclusive treat that could only bought in some far-off country. I never thought to question my own assumption.
It would a long time later when I’d finally learned how to cook that I realized…Hey, why not try making biscotti? It would take some researching online and reading about biscotti – when I eventually came to the understanding that “biscotti” literally meant “twice-baked” in Italian.
Biscotti is a really versatile snack – one whose ingredients can be as varied or as plain as you wish.
Today I’m sharing the basic recipe for almond biscotti – which really involves very little hands-on time. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir the batter until smooth, then throw in the almonds (or other nuts of your choice), and gently mix until you get a homogeneous, and rather thick mixture that you can shape into a rectangle with your hands. Place the rectangle of dough on a silpat-line baking tray, and bake at 350 deg Fahrenheit for slightly less than 30 minutes. When the dough feels firm to the touch, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for ten minutes. In the meantime, turn the oven down to 140 deg Cel, and once the dough has cooled, slice it breadth wise into slices of equal thickness. Place the sliced pieces on one side of the silpat-lined baking tray and bake for the second time for 10 minutes. Flip biscotti over and bake on the other side for another 10 minutes until firm.
Let the biscotti cool before serving, and then enjoy!
Like a toast, a biscuit, and a dessert all rolled into one crispy, crunchy, flavorful snack.
- 1 cup almond flour/almond meal
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
- Pre-heat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit (180 deg Cel) and line a baking sheet with a silpat or non-stick baking paper.
- Whisk almond flour/almond meal with baking powder and brown sugar in a large bowl.
- Add the beaten egg and mix the dough together until smooth.
- Gently stir in the chopped almonds until evenly mixed.
- Roll the dough into a flattened rectangle about 6-8 cm wide and place on baking tray.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the dough feels firm to the touch, then remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 280 deg Fahrenheit (140 deg Cel).
- Once the log has cooled, slice it breadth-wise into 1cm-thick pieces using a bread knife. Place biscotti on one side on a baking paper-lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip biscotti over and bake on the other side for another 10 minutes until firm.
- Let biscotti cool before serving.