With Christmas only a few days away, there are many preparations for the holiday. For us it will be a multi-day celebration. By the time New Year’s arrives, we will have had 4 or 5 Christmas gatherings with different combinations of friends and family.
As preparation for this week, I have been baking an assortment of goodies. The kids and I made frosted sugar cookies, eating some and storing many. We made reverse chocolate chip cookies (chocolate dough and white chocolate chips) and chocolate chip cookies with toffee bits. We will have plenty of cookies, both to leave for Santa and to be enjoyed by all.
I also had breads, using zucchini nut bread and banana bread recipe. The breads will be handy for breakfast, as we will have an additional 4 people in our house during the holidays. As an additional breakfast treatment or accompaniment for coffee, I will be making biscotti.
Biscotti are among my favorite cookies. The combination of the crunchiness and the almond flavoring makes it a delicious treat. I think they are simple to make, but they usually have a “Wow!” to their presentation. Something about biscotti is elegant, even though the process is painless.
These biscotti can be made two ways. I usually do some of each type to please all of the eaters in my home. Some biscotti have a chocolate glaze topping them. The other biscotti are plain, for the nonchocolate eaters.
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 6 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate*
- 1 Tb. shortening*
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Beat butter and sugar in large bowl.
- Add eggs and almond extract, beating until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and blend.
- Stir almonds into dough.
- Divide dough in half.
- Shape each half into 11″ x 2″ rectangle, using floured hands.
- Set each loaf 2″ apart on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the dough is set.
- Leaving the oven on, remove the biscotti loaves and cool for 15 minutes on cookie sheet.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the loaves into diagonal slices, 1/2″ thick.
- Place slices on cookie sheet with the cut sides down. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes.
- Turn over slices, and bake for 8 to 9 minutes more.
- Remove biscotti from oven, and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- *If you want your biscotti to have a chocolate glaze, combine semi-sweet chocolate and shortening in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue heating chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until chocolate glaze is smooth. Using a spoon, spread a layer of glaze on the top of each biscotti. Refrigerate for 15 mintes to set glaze.
- Makes 30 cookies.