The last few Biscotti remain in a tin, so it’s a good time to post this recipe as they are “endorsed” by how long they have lasted, which has not been quite 10 days! I often bake two different items in one go, as I did when I baked these Biscotti. When I’m in the middle of baking I feel … oh well, all standard baking ingredients are on the counter and a mess is already made, might as well bake two goodies. I’ll post the fruit bake I made next.
I was born in South Africa and a standard in most homes is something called “rusks” dunked in a cup of tea or coffee, or just crunched as a snack, sort of similar to Biscotti. I do like Biscotti but they really don’t come close to the comfort of a hearty rusk, but we did enjoy these very much.
(My Mum bakes a large batch of rusks at least every few weeks, a handy standby for pop in friends. They are a sweet baked cake-like loaf, torn apart or sliced into pieces and then dried overnight in a slow oven. In SA they range from plain buttermilk rusks, to raisin and bran, or even lightly spiced and sometimes even aniseed, which I’m not a fan of.
Most are made using and baking powder but there is also a Mosbolletjie variety which are delicious too, though they are made with yeast and traditionally their rising agent was a by-product of grapes. You can buy rusks boxed but they are nowhere near as delicious as home baked rusks. I think the closest you get to rusks in the the rest of the world are zwieback.)
On to the Biscotti recipe! You will need a bowl for your dry ingredients, a small jug to beat your eggs separately, and a bowl to melt some butter in the microwave, tools to measure and a strong mixing fork. Then a flat cookie pan and parchment paper if you have for baking. We’re going to mix the dough, shape a loaf by hand, bake it, let it cool then slice the loaves and re-bake the slices.
I used a recipe I had written up a while ago and for the life of me can’t remember where I found it, and changed a few things adding flaked almonds too as I put these two loaves together. (This recipe is enough for one loaf)
- 2 1/4 cups almond flour
- 1/3 cup xylitol or golden brown Sukrin sugar
- 1 tsp aluminium free baking powder
- 1 tsp arrow root (if you don’t have, you can leave it out)
- 1 tablespoon ground psyllium husk or golden ground flaxseed (also optional)
- 2 heaped tablespoons melted butter
- 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
- 1/2 cup flaked almonds (no toasting necessary, they will brown up nicely)
- 2 tsp almond essence
- Mix all your dry ingredients
- Make a well in the centre and add your beaten eggs, stirring in
- Stir in the melted butter adding the flaked almonds and almond essence
- When the dough is nicely bound, lift it out and shape into a flattened loaf
- Bake at 350F for around 25 minutes and let the loaf cool
- Place the loaf (once cooled) onto the cookie pan
- Slice down in one movement with a very sharp knife to minimise crumbling
- Place the biscotti slices out on the pan giving room around each
- Bake sliced biscotti at 310F for 20 minutes and turn over slices onto the other side and bake again at 310F another 20 minutes
- Turn off the oven and leave to cool until crisp
It seems like a lot of work but it’s not really, and in no time we were tucking in! I do suggest that if you are making one loaf, make a second. I left out the baking powder in my first loaf and I absolutely could not tell the difference.
Here are a few spring photos from around our neighborhood.
Dogwood tree, peonies, Northern Flicker on the persimmon tree, cherry tree, lil’ lawn wildflowers, bluebells, fava bean flowers, little white jobs – I’ve no clue!, tulips at the mail box, grape hyacinths and camellia.