Espresso Almond Biscotti

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Honestly, I have no idea where time is flying off to!  Things have been pretty hectic on the work front (nothing fun…just an upcoming closing that requires a ton of documents to be drafted and reviewed).  I guzzled copious amount of coffee and still managed to fall asleep on the subway on my commute home, and missed my stop twice this week – which is not a good sign.  Plus, I have not cooked a single thing; I made myself an ice cream sundae, but I’m rather certain that it doesn’t count as cooking.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend to catch up on everything: sleep, cleaning, and hopefully a trip to the farmer’s market to be inspired by the seasonal offerings.  Winter squashes aren’t my favorite ingredients to cook with, and so I’m excited to work with Spring vegetables once again.  Maybe I’ll pick up some ramps and fiddlehead ferns and experiment them in some new recipes!  And I have a giveaway planned for you, so stay tuned.

By the way, I guest-modeled an outfit over at Apartment2F. It’s not warm enough, but mint green definitely puts me in a Spring mood!

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In other news, let’s talk about these biscotti I made awhile ago.  These cookies are baked twice (which is essentially what the word biscotti translates into); first in a log and then in slices.  They are crisp, lightly sweet, and great for dunking into tea or coffee.  As far as cookie recipe goes, this one is low maintenance and uses pantry-friendly ingredients.  Next time I make them, I will probably add some chocolate chips or cacao nibs.  I like to make these biscotti around the holidays and decorate them with a coating of dark chocolate and a few sprinkles of festive nonpareils!  If espresso is not your thing, I imagine that if you substituted the espresso powder with anise seeds and orange zest (or a handful of chopped candied orange peel), it would make for some tasty treats, probably even better when enjoyed with some vino.

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Espresso Almond Biscotti
(Makes about 20 cookies)

2 tbsps instant espresso powder
2 tsps water
6 tbsps unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsps baking powder
1 ½ cup whole almonds, toasted

Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Dissolve instant espresso powder in hot water, and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla extract, eggs, and espresso mixture, and mix well.  Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and almonds to form a dough.

Divide the dough evenly into two, and place one on each of the baking sheet.  With moistened hands, shape it into a log about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide.  Bake the log until it is lightly golden brown, firm to the touch, and just beginning to crack slightly, 30 to 35 minutes.  Allow the log to cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F.  With a sharp, serrated knife, slice the cooled biscotti on the bias into ½-inch slices.  Place the slices cut side down on the baking sheets in a single layer.  Bake them for an additional 15 minutes, or until they are toasted and dry.  Cool the biscotti completely on the baking sheets, then store them in an airtight container kept in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.

*I prefer to leave the almonds whole, which look pretty when the biscotti are sliced (they also don’t fall apart as easily) and provide a satisfying crunch.

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