It is almost impossible for me to name my favourite song, or favourite movie, or even favourite colour, let alone my favourite food. My favourites evolve and change, depending on my mood and other factors. In the middle of winter, my favourite food is not going to be ice cream, even though in summer I can’t get enough. Or maybe I’m indecisive; I am a Gemini after all. I have trouble locking in and committing to one favourite. I’d rather keep my options open.
Why is it easier to pick a favourite of something you don’t know much about, yet impossible once you learn and experience more, and start to become more familiar with? But, I think there are a few things that stand the test of time, like songs you don’t get tired of. Are they automatically elevated to favourite status because of their staying power?
Biscotti is a little like that for me, as one of those favourites that I can’t get tired of. The small, crunchy, nutty biscuits are just perfect with a strong coffee for afternoon tea. Just nibbling away evokes thoughts of Italy, somewhere I would love to travel to one day.
Biscotti don’t last long in my house, we all love them, and they are so addictive, you can’t just stop at one. Lucky this recipe is so easy to make! It is a versatile recipe too, with endless variations possible. Donna Hay even suggests replacing the almonds with ½ cup roasted, skinned hazelnuts and 40g chopped chocolate for a hazelnut and chocolate chip biscotti. Sounds delicious!
Vanilla & almond biscotti
Recipe from Donna Hay Modern Classics 2
Makes about 40
• 2 cups plain flour
• 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
• ¾ cup sugar
• ¾ cup almonds
• 3 eggs
• 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F).
2. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Add sugar and almonds and stir together. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well to form a dough. Divide the dough in two.
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead each piece until smooth. Shape into logs and flatten slightly.
4. Place the logs on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely. If not completely cool, it will be crumbly when you slice it.
5. Cut the logs into 5mm thick slices with a serrated knife and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the biscotti are crisp. Store in an airtight container and serve with espresso or liqueur.