I have been eyeing Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food for a long time, but it never seemed very practical to spend $35 dollars on a cookbook when I could always find so many amazing recipes on the web for only the price of the internet. I was wrong this time, though. Forgive me, Alice?
My fiance purchased the cookbook for me last month as a birthday gift, and I have not been able to put it down. Every recipe that I have tried thus far has been incredible for the taste buds, and this biscotti is no exception.
Although I have been trying to lay off the sweets, the biscotti cravings have been a force to reckon with. I even came close to a Costco-sized canister of Nonni's Biscotti about a month ago, but regained my senses just in time. I won't say that cooking everything at home is always fast or easy, but it makes me a little happier inside - literally and figuratively.
So give this recipe a try if you, like me, have been suffering from biscotti-deficit-induced dreams and headaches. It's super simple to make, lightly sweetened, and very, very crunchy indeed.
About 40 cookies.
1/2 cup whole raw almonds
1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios
1/2 cup dried apricot
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
3/4 teaspoon aniseed
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the almonds and the pistachios on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for five minutes. Remove and let cool. Once cool, coarsely chop the nuts and the dried apricot together and set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and aniseed in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and lemon zest together until the mixture forms a ribbon. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the nuts and dried fruit.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and form the dough into two 3-inch-wide loaves, about three inches apart. It helps if you wet your hands with water to keep the dough from sticking to you. Bake the loaves for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove the loaves from the oven and let cool for ten minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 300°F. Once the loaves have cooled, slice them into 1/2-inch-thick cookies and place cut side down on the baking sheet. You might need two separate sheets for this process, but I managed to fit all of my slices onto one. Bake for ten minutes, turn over, and cook for ten more minutes, or until golden brown.
Adapted from Alice Waters' Anise-Almond Biscotti recipe in The Art of Simple Food.