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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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

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.DSC_0402

Add the eggs one at a time making sure the first is fully incorporated before adding the second.DSC_0408

Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in almonds by hand.DSC_0413

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.DSC_0417

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.DSC_0418

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.

DSC_0423These are great dunked in coffee or with an evening dram of Amaretto to sip…Or go nuts and put some amaretto in your coffee!

DSC_0441 DSC_0447 DSC_0450You 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. 🙂 DSC_0454

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