Coffee Go-Togethers – Italian Biscotti

One of the things that has delighted me in the last few years is the growing availability of gourmet Italian biscotti. I grew up on the real thing, made by my Italian grandmother, and while I treasure Stella D’Oro anisette biscotti as a childhood memory, they simply can’t compare to biscotti fresh from the oven. The coarse texture and semi-sweet, spicy tang of the biscotti makes them perfect for dunking in your coffee. The biscotti absorb the coffee and soften just enough to be a toothsome treat – but not so much that you can’t literally suck the coffee from the biscotti before biting off the softened end.

If your idea of biscotti has been shaped by the overly sweet, usually bottom-frosted coffee house treat, these homemade biscotti will delight your tastebuds – and the incredible aroma as they bake will have your mouth watering long before they come out of the oven.

Italian Biscotti

2 cups of flour.
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 Tbsp lemon zest
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of anisette
3/4 cup of toasted, chopped almonds
1/4 cup thin sliced almonds for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a cookie sheet or baking sheet.

Mix together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and anisette. Dump the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and beat until the dough sticks together in a ball.

Stir in the chopped almonds.

Working on a floured board or tabletop, knead the dough into a ball. Cut the dough ball in half and form each half into a 12″ by 2″ log.

Place the logs on the baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between them.

Sprinkle sliced almonds over the top of the logs and press them into the surface.

Place cookie sheet in the middle of the oven and back for 45 minutes, until logs are browned and firm all over.

Remove the logs from the oven and allow them to cool completely on baking rack.

When the logs are cool, cut each log diagonally into slices one inch thick. Place the slices on the baking sheet and return them to the oven. Bake 10 minutes, turn the biscotti and bake 10 more minutes until the biscotti are golden through and through.

During the last ten minutes, make your espresso or your coffee so that you can enjoy the moment they come out of the oven.