Monday, 28 November 2011

Mixed Spice Biscotti

A mixed spice biscotti is definitely cooking itself up today! They are large, crunchy, almond biscuits, made through cutting the loaf of dough while still hot and fresh from baking in the oven. 

The word originates from the medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning "twice-cooked/baked. These Italian biscuits smell divine, especially when they come out from the oven. Amazing with a cuppa or great on its own, this nutty treat will send some of you nut lovers off!

Although the recipe may look quite long-winded, its definitely worth a try!

50g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
50g caster sugar
50g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
275g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
100g blanched almonds, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Grease a large baking sheet. Place butter and sugars in a large bowl and whisk together until pale and creamy. Whisk the eggs into the mixture.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in the bowl.
3. Add the chopped almonds, reserving 2 tablespoons, and mix together to form a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and, with floured hands, knead for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth.
4.Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a log shape measuring about 4cm/1 1/2 inches in diameter.
5. Place the logs on the baking sheet and flatten until each is about 2.5cm/1 inch thick.
6. Sprinkle the reserved almonds on top of the logs and press into the dough.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 mins.
8. Reduce the oven temp. to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Using a serrated knife, cut the baked dough into 1 cm/1/2 inch thick slices and place, cut-side down, on ungreased baking sheets.
9. Bake for a further 10 mins. Turn and bake for another 10-15 mins or until lightly golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and harden.

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