I love the honey flavor of these biscotti as much the almond aroma while they bake. Based on "Biscotti Napoletani" from Nick Malgieri's book, Great Italian Desserts, the three flavoring ingredients are just honey-almond-cinnamon. They're wonderful in this pure form but I mention the optional ingredients since they please my American tastebuds. Since there's no butter or egg, these biscotti are exceptionally light--imagine a crisp, honey almond toast. They're different but definitely worth trying.
- 2 cups flour
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 3⁄4 cup unblanched whole almonds (ground fine in a blender or food processor, raw or roasted)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 3⁄4 cup unblanched whole almonds (roasted)
- 1⁄3 cup honey
- 1⁄3 cup lukewarm water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract (optional) or 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a baking pan 13-15 inches long with either cooking spray and foil or parchment.
- Combine honey and water, stirring to form a solution; stir in almond extract and/or vanilla if desired and set aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients (including the ground and the whole almonds) and stir for a minute or so to combine.
- Add honey-water and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated into a thick dough.
- Divide the dough in half and form or roll into 2 logs about 12 inches long (they'll spread out as they bake so place well apart from each other in the pan)--Tip: Lightly moisten your fingers with water to prevent the dough from sticking to them. It's easier to shape the logs.
- Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes; they should be well risen, firm, and a dark golden color. It is important that the logs bake a half hour or very close to it.
- After cooling for 5-10 minutes, slice the logs diagonally at 1/2 inch intervals with a sharp knife.
- Place the biscotti on their sides and bake about 15 minutes at 300°F until lightly colored and dry.
- If they need to bake longer than 15 minutes, turn them over to avoid over-browning the side on bottom.
- Allow to cool in the pan and store in a tin or tightly closed container.
- (Note: I usually buy raw almonds and roast them myself in a 300°F oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring after the first 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using in a recipe).