Cardamom-Almond Biscotti

9 Jul

I never liked biscotti.

Shocked? I know. But I never did. I didn’t like that they were rock-hard, and I didn’t like that they weren’t very sweet, and I really didn’t like that the chocolate-dipped ones (chocolate can make up for a myriad of culinary sins) melted on my fingers while I chipped teeth gnawing through the rest of this so-called cookie.

My mother-in-law, though, loves biscotti. Only she calls them Zweiback. Back in the day, she made them all the time for her five kids.

These days, she’s not cooking much and I felt terrible when I saw the plastic containers o’ rock-hard biscotti from a warehouse club on her pantry shelf. Ick. So I went looking for a recipe that might redeem biscotti in both of our eyes.

I found it. Well, kind of. I found a recipe for cardamom-almond biscotti that I knew she’d love–she’s ape about cardamom–but that had bits of almond in the cookies. Which meant my father-in-law had to stay away. Nut issues.

So I fiddled with the recipe. And what I came up with is a biscotti you can eat happily without dunking it in liquid first (what is that about??), that sings with cardamom and almond in a sweet, but not too sweet, crunchy but not rock-hard, cookie that’s easy to make and lasts a good long time in a plastic container or zip-top bag. And that’s safe for non-nut-eaters. And yes, my kids love them too. Bonus.

Cardamom-Almond Biscotti

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter (1 stick, unsalted)

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract (the fake stuff if you’re dealing with a nut sensitivity)

2 cups flour (You can do up to 1/2 cup wheat flour if you want, but more toughens these up)

1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (ground, people. Not the pod kind)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in extracts.

Combine your dry ingredients (I don’t sift, but knock yourself out if you like to do that) and stir them into the wet goods.

Divide your dough (it’s sticky–coat your hands in cooking spray first) into two pieces. On parchment paper, pat each half into a 2 x 10 inch rectangle. Bake those 25 minutes.

After the 25 minutes, pull them out and let them rest 5 minutes. Then carefully, with a serrated knife and a light hand, slice the logs width-wise into 1/2 inch slices. Place those cut-side down back on the baking sheet, and bake them another 12 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Simple, easy, yummy. Makes my mother-in-law happy. And that makes everybody happy.

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2 Responses to “Cardamom-Almond Biscotti”

  1. krishna July 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    I love biscotti, the chocolate with almonds. I’ve seen several recipes but have not had the courage to make it. Maybe I will now.

  2. Laura Beutler July 10, 2010 at 4:54 am #

    I can honestly say I haven’t a clue what cardamom tastes like, but I seem to have some in the back of the pantry so I’ll give it a try. Oh, and yes, you typically have to dunk these in coffee…really strong, good coffee. It’s sort of like the Oreos/milk connection for adults!

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