baking, breakfast, cooking, dessert, food, Food Gifts, Recipes, Vanilla Bean Almond Biscotti, Vanilla beans, vanilla pods, vanilla seeds
I stumbled upon this when I was trying to come up with ideas for a gift box I was putting together. It would be travelling around the world and I decided that biscotti would hold up well to that sort of journey. There’s nothing to melt, it’s not overly fragile, and if it gets slightly dried out, it won’t be totally ruined. It’s best when dunked into coffee anyhow! After finding great success with the first batch that was shipped off, I decided to make it again to post for all of you fine people.
I referenced a Giada De Laurentiis biscotti recipe for dry to wet ingredient ratios and made the rest up. I wanted to go with ingredients that A) I love and B) I had on hand. Vanilla beans and almonds were what I came up with. 🙂
Vanilla Bean Almond Biscotti
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup vanilla sugar (Don’t have any? Save those vanilla pods, stick them in a container with some sugar and soon that sugar will be infused with vanilla flavor. You’ll have some ready for next time!)
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2 vanilla bean pods (whatever you do, don’t purchase these in the grocery store where they can be $9.00 for two! They are far better purchased online. I got mine from beanilla.com. It is FAR less expensive that way.)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 to 1 cup sliced almonds (you could also chop up regular almonds)
Preheat oven to 350*F
Whisk together flour and baking powder and set aside.
Place vanilla sugar, salt, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.
Split vanilla beans lengthwise and, using the flat side of a knife, scrape out the caviar. Add to the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Beat until well blended and the vanilla seeds have evenly distributed through the mixture. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides a couple of times.
Add the eggs one at a time making sure the first is fully incorporated before adding the second.
Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in almonds by hand.
Line a heavy-bottomed baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough out of the mixing bowl and onto the center of the pan. Shape into a rectangle about 12×4 inches.
Giada recommends baking for 40 minutes, but I found that was too much. Living at high altitude, I baked it for 34 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool, on the pan, for 30-40 minutes.
Carefully remove biscotti to a cutting board. Use a serrated bread knife to slice the loaf into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick slices, on a diagonal. Aside from the end pieces, this yielded 12 slices. Lay each slice, cut side down back on the parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 more minutes. I bake for five minutes, carefully flip the cookies over and bake for 5 more minutes. Cool completely and serve.
In the past I have dipped biscotti in melted chocolate, or drizzled with chocolate, but I decided to keep these simple and unadorned.
These are great dunked in coffee or with an evening dram of Amaretto to sip…Or go nuts and put some amaretto in your coffee!
You could also do what we are doing with ours. I made up several batches, set a few cookies aside to share with the girls for Fancy Pants Tuesday, and bagged the rest up to give to the neighbors. I don’t know about where you are living, but it has been an insanely cold month for us! We’ve considered ourselves lucky if temperatures have reached the 20’s (Fahrenheit!). This also means extended inversions which makes for dismal air quality. It’s getting slightly depressing. We figured everyone could use a little pick-me-up gift about now! The girls and I will be delivering them this afternoon, then returning home to enjoy some ourselves. 🙂
alexandra [@ sweet betweens blog] said:
I have yet to make biscotti. I think it’s because I always thought biscotti had that licorice flavor to it, but I’ve recently become a fan of trying different flavors at bakeries, etc. This looks delicious – and vanilla sugar? I always have a batch going. If you want a great, cheap + fair-trade source for vanilla beans, check out Indri Vanilla. They’re my go-to and they’ve never steered me wrong. Thanks for this great recipe!
Thanks! I’ll check out that vanilla company. And thanks for the great raspberry-sugar ideas. I’m now thinking raspberry margaritas rimmed with the sugar. Mmmm It may have to wait until warmer weather though. 🙂
Hi Sarah. I think I’ll have to try this sometime. I’ve never actually used vanilla beans, so I’ll have to try and find those.
Great! I hope you like them! Make sure you buy your vanilla beans online or at Costco. It’ll save you a lot of money 🙂
alexandra [@ sweet betweens blog] said:
Made these today – my first attempt at biscotti. And wow! So easy, and SO delicious. I’m baking at home with my family in NJ so I only bought 1 [overpriced] vanilla bean. Can’t wait to make them for an event Saturday with 2 plump + delicious vanilla beans. [tweeted about them w/a link to the recipe, so I hope others make these, too!]
YAY! I’m so glad you liked them!! I’m considering making some to give away for Valentine’s Day. Maybe for Trin’s Horseback Riding coach. Thanks for the tweet!