Many years ago, I embarked on the quest to reproduce Nonni’s amazing petite almond-walnut chocolate-dipped biscotti. Since they no longer seem to make that type, this recipe is hence a legacy and tribute to those sophisticated bites of deliciousness!
The classic recipe is neither grain-free nor sugar-free, but is worth keeping for that special occasion. A gluten-free and sugar-free option is also provided. Amaze your friends with how the gluten-free biscotti taste like the real thing. These biscotti make excellent and classy gifts too!
This is a recipe for a truly top-notch, top-quality biscotti and not just a casual, everyday dessert. You need to use all of the ingredients (including the hard-to-find ones) and all of the equipment to get first class results. If you skip some of them, you will still have biscotti, and they will still be very good, but they will not be the crème de-la crème of biscotti that we are trying to create!
- 2/3 cup blanched almonds
- 1 tablespoon anise seeds (in the UK, you may have to buy this online)
- 1 tablespoon walnut flavoring (A true secret ingredient, and worth buying online! Alcohol-free is available online and at some health food stores)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2 organic free-range eggs, not too big, not too small
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (sugar-free option: ¾ cup of sugar substitute, such as xylitol or coconut sugar; mixing sweeteners is recommended)
- 2 cups flour (gluten-free option: 1½ cups of finely ground almonds and ½ cup tapioca flour)
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- High quality white or milk chocolate (for dipping)
- Equipment: insulated baking sheet, electric mixer, wax paper. An insulated baking sheet will produce top-quality results by distributing the heat evenly, and is well worth the investment.
1. Allow the eggs and butter to come to room temperature.
2. Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds on a piece of aluminum foil or baking sheet. Once the oven is warm, toast the almonds for 8-10 minutes. The almonds must be golden, but not brown. Toasty, not burnt!
3. Cool the almonds and coarsely chop them.
4. Then turn the oven down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.
6. Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing on low speed. Mix well, but do not overblend.
7. Add the anise seeds and the flavoring and mix well. Then add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well. Then, stir in the nuts.
The baking process
1. Divide the dough in half and form two logs. Each log should be about 12 inches long and 1½ to 2 inches wide. Sprinkle with sugar. Pat the logs of dough gently and with a deep sense of baker’s pride.
2. Line the insulated baking sheet with wax paper. Bake the dough for 25 minutes or until lightly browned (not burnt!). Let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Using a serrated kitchen knife, slice each log into ½ inch thick wafers. Return these wafers back to the baking sheet and bake for 10 more minutes. Allow to cool completely.
4. Melt the chocolate (being careful not to burn it). Dip the cooled biscotti halfway into the chocolate, or spread the chocolate along one side of the biscotti. Once dipped, place the biscotti on wax paper to prevent them from sticking as the chocolate dries. Not only will your biscotti taste amazing, but you will cover up any mistakes you made when slicing them out.
Make about 3½ dozen small biscotti
Suggested presentation – Stand up the biscotti in an elegant metal basket and tie a ribbon on it!