Biscotti are twice-baked cookies: the dough is shaped into a log, baked, and then sliced and baked again to produce a delightfully crunchy texture.
As I sit here, nibbling on one, I can say that these biscotti are very good. Last night I thought of making something tasty and light, to bring over to Rita and Carmelo's house for lunch. Now, all wrapped up in a nice little package, I think they are a sweet gift...
These cookies can be made 3-5 days ahead of time stored in an airtight container. Recrisp if necessary in the oven at 120°C. Enjoy with your morning or afternoon coffee...
390 g, 2.5 cups flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
125 g, 1/2 cup butter
250 g, 1 cup sugar
juice and zest of one lemon
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
315 g, 2 cups toasted hazelnuts coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 165° C (325°F)
In a bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine the sugar and butter using an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. One at a time, add the eggs. Beat in the lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and almond extract. Reduce the mixer to low and add in the flour mixture, one third at a time. Then, fold in the nuts. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and divide in half. Roll each half into an oval log and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let rest until cool to the touch. Once cool, cut each log into slices. Then arrange each slice on the baking sheet and return to the oven. Bake until the biscotti are toasted and the edges are golden brown. (I prefer them to be crunchy, but if you want just a toasting, lower the temperature to 120° C and bake for 10 minutes.) Let cool on the pan or wire rack.