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1/2 cup whole blanched almonds

1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2  large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

2- 1/4 cups unbleached flour

1- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Chocolate Glaze: 4 ounces bitter or semi-sweet chocolate



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a bake sheet with a non-stick surface or butter and flour it..  Toast the almonds until fragrant and lightly browned, 8-10 minutes.  Allow them to cool in a bowl, then chop them in half or thirds.  Turn the oven down to 325 degrees.


Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until lightly fluffed, at least 2 minutes.  Work in the eggs one  at a time .  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the extracts and zest with the machine running.


Sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.  Add this dry mixture to the egg mixture in three installments.  Mix only until just blended.  Fold the almond pieces into the dough.


Turn the  dough  out onto  a lightly floured  work surface. Dust the dough with flour and divide it in half.  Shape the dough into 2 rectangles: 2" wide  and 1" high and  12" long.  Bake for 25 minutes, until firm, lightly browned, with an internal temperature of 200 degrees..


Lift the loaves out onto a rack to cool for 5 minutes.  Using a serrated knife, slice the log 1/2" thick at a 45 degree angle and place slices on their sides on the sheet pan.  Bake another 10 minutes, turning them once.  Cool completely on a rack before sealing in a jar or tin and storing.


Chocolate Glaze:

Break the chocolate into 1" pieces and melt in the microwave over high heat (2 mnutes).  Use a spatula to spread a thin glaze of chocolate over the flat side of each warm biscotti.  Allow the chocolate to cool and dry completely before storing.

Adapted from a recipe in Biscotti by Lou Seibert Pappas