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almond-raisin biscotti

Almond-Raisin Biscotti

In Italy, you’ll find these biscuits named “cantucci” and served alongside a coffee or sweet dessert wine.  I’ve stuck with the US and UK name of biscotti–two (bis-) baked (cotti) as these are also longer than traditional cantucci.

I like these biscotti best with just a bit of chewiness compared to most of the commercial offerings which are often rock hard.  You decide the amount of firmness you desire during the 2nd bake.

Makes about 28 biscotti

INGREDIENTS

  • all purpose flour:  550 g/20 oz + extra for flouring the work surface
  • baking powder: 1 tsp
  • baking soda: 1 tsp
  • salt: 0.5 tsp
  • eggs: 3 total:.  2 whole eggs for the main recipe and 1 yolk + 1 tsp water for the egg wash
  • sugar: 335 g/12 oz
  • vegetable oil: 175 ml/6 fl. oz/0.75 cup
  • sour cream: 125 g/4.5 oz
  • vanilla extract: 1 tsp
  • anise seed: 1 tsp
  • whole almonds: 85 g/3 oz
  • raisins: 85 g/3 oz
  • parchment paper: to line the baking sheet

STEPS

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toast the almonds.
    – Using the baking sheet, bake for 12 minutes.  
    – Remove from the oven,  pour the almonds onto a cutting board and allow to cool.
    – Keep the baking sheet and parchment setup for the biscotti.
    – Chop the pieces in roughly half the size (cutting the biscotti later will cut them into even smaller pieces.)
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together.
    – In a large mixing bowl, beat together 2 of the eggs, sugar, and oil until well combined. 
    – Then beat in sour cream, vanilla, and anise seeds.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together.
    – Using a stand mixer on low speed or a spatula by hand, beat the dry mixture into wet mixture until mixture forms a dough.
    – Then stir in nuts and raisins, and keep mixing until combined.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 even sized pieces. (It is normal if it is quite sticky.  Use a bit of flour all over each piece to help the shaping.)
  7. Form two logs on the baking sheet. flatten each piece into a rectangle approximately 2-2.5 cm/0.75-1″ high and 35 cm x 15 cm/14″ x 6″ in length/width.
  8. Rest and hydrate the flour.  Cover the logs with a towel and let them sit on the baking tray for 5-10 minutes to allow the flour to fully soak in all the liquids.
  9. Brush with an egg wash. Create an egg wash by whisking 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water with a fork.  Brush each log with the egg wash.
  10. Bake #1 for about 30 minutes (start checking at 27 minutes) until pale golden, then remove from the oven.  Leave the oven on.
  11. Cool the logs on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board and cut into pieces about 2.5 cm/1″ wide.
  12. Bake #2.
    – Turn pieces onto the cut side and return to the baking sheet. 
    – Bake for 5-15 minutes depending on how crunchy you like your biscotti. On the low end you will get a more soft chewy consistency and rock hard on the longer bake.  I use 8-10 minutes–crunchy but a little softness.  
    – Note that the biscotti will further harden when cooling down–don’t use touch as a gauge to determine your final crunchiness. 
    – Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  13. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.