Monday, September 15, 2008


Biscotti are my favorite sweet to bake during the winter holidays. They are flavorful, so very versatile and they last quite a few days. Of course, they’re such a good treat and my husband and kids love them so, that I don’t limit them to just the holidays. I make them year round, except on horribly humid New York summer days when turning on an oven is not an option.

But today's dry, lower 80s forecast afforded me the perfect opportunity to make this batch for the Great Cooks Community September 2008 – Biscotti Bake Off. I used a basic biscotti recipe that I've been making for the past five years, and which can endure endless variations. This time I added sherry, which I had on hand, and after reading up on the subject, find this is actually a slight variation of a traditional Tuscan biscotti where some vin santo is added to the dough. The combination of toasted almonds with the sweet wine, I find, really works.

Sherry Almond Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons sherry or other sweet wine

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each well. Add the wine and then stir in the chopped almonds.
Form the dough into a log directly on the parchment lined baking sheet (the dough will be slightly sticky). Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, let cool. Place the log on a cutting board and slice on the diagonal with a serrated knife, making ½ inch pieces of biscotti. Place the slices cut side down on the baking sheet and bake again until golden, about 15 minutes.


Ivy said...

They look great Maria. I prepared mine but haven't posted the recipe yet. You'll see that it is usual in Greece to add wine in our koulouria.

Maria said...

Thank you Ivy. My "Giagia" used to make paximadia--me glykaniso--using this method (forming a log, baking, slicing then baking again) and now my mom makes them throughout the year. So although I make mine using different flavors, I always think of Giagia when baking these.

Wannabe Gourmet said...

This looks delicious! As soon as I get some sherry, I will definitely be trying this! I love biscotti with my coffee or chai tea, so this should be fun!

Maria said...

Thanks wannabe gourmet! And this basic recipe is so versatile too -- you can throw anything in there to change things up (walnuts instead of almonds, raisins, cranberries, some orange zest).