After a busy couple of months, I was just starting to think that I wouldn’t have much time for holiday baking. But that’s when the urge to make these biscotti hit. I was in the mood for a not-too-sweet cookie with crunch, and one of my favorite combinations (almond extract and poppy seeds) leapt to mind. The dough came together in a flash, and I multi-tasked while the biscotti underwent their double-bake. In no time, I had a tin full of festive, poppy seed-flecked cookies, redolent of almond.
With the biscotti behind me, I’m feeling less sorry for myself and my lack of time for holiday baking.
In fact, the biscotti have helped me resolve to finding little pockets of time for my baking. A batch of thumbprints here, and a sheet of brittle there. No rule against a late-night pan of fudge, right? I might not have time for afternoons spent rolling truffles through multiple hues of cocoa powder (who was that person, and where did she find the time?), and I’ll leave the tedious spritz pressing and painstaking sugar cookie decorating to my mother (whose patience for such baking tasks did not pass on down to me). But, by god, there will be some holiday baking in my kitchen.
I’ll leave you with some more holiday inspiration here. I’m looking forward to a little time off around Christmas, and to a schedule that will slow down (fingers crossed) come 2012. Merry merry to you all.
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
1 tablespoon canola (or other neutral) oil
1 tablespoon almond extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds
turbinado or sanding sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. In a stand mixer, beat sugar, eggs, oil, and almond extract in large bowl until well blended. With the mixer running, slowly add flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in almonds and poppy seeds. Press the dough into a log (roughly 12″ by 3″) on the lined baking sheet. Dust with turbinado or sanding sugar, if desired.
Bake log until lightly browned and almost firm to touch, about 30 minutes. Cool log on sheet 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Carefully transfer log to cutting board, reserving parchment paper. Slice the log crosswise into about 12 even slices. Stand biscotti upright on the lined baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet.