My Aunt Josie celebrated her birthday Monday. She is ninety-two. There aren't a lot of things a 92 year old needs, so I have gotten into the habit of making her biscotti. I have been making this biscotti, for various occasions, at least ten years and I have to say, they are delicious. Even my husband Zeke, who doesn't care for biscotti (too hard) loves them. I make them for special occasions and for special people, because they are a labor intensive cookie to make. I read an article once in the Food section, about a guy who made this fabulous applesauce for his friends for Christmas. He choose the apples with care and added apple brandy, nuts, spices, cooking it all to a perfect blend and then jarred them up for gifts. He said the people who said "Thanks for the jar of applesauce" were scratched off his list for the next year. This applesauce was sacred and deserved respect. Those who appreciated it for the labor of love it was, got gifted the next year. My biscotti are like that- reserved for special people. My Aunt Josie, my mom, my friend Martha and her family and, a recent convert- Mirella La Salle. I gave some to this beautiful Italian lady for Christmas last year and the next time I saw her she wanted to know where I bought the delicious biscotti. When I told her I made them, she couldn't believe it and so she is now on my list of people I will give my biscotti to. I don't often give out the recipe- not because I am a recipe hoarder, but because it takes a while to make. But if you have the time, energy and love to make these biscotti- here is the recipe, clipped from The Miami Herald many moons ago.
1 1/2 cups whole almonds (blanched or not)
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, softened (10 2/3 Tablespoons)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
Grated peel of one large orange
Grated peel of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds in a pan and bake until lightly toasted. Chop into coarse chunks and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well after each addition. Mix in orange and lemon peel and almond extract. Add flour mixture and mix at low speed until all ingredients are well incorporated. Mix in almonds.
Put flour down on surface and place dough on floured surface, dividing evenly in half. Form into 2 logs, approximately 12 inches long, flattening tops gently with palm of hand. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet, as far apart as possible. Bake 25 minutes, or until tips are firm. Do not under cook or over cook, otherwise they will not slice smoothly. Remove from oven and place on rack. Cool 10 minutes.
With a large, sharp knife, cut logs into diagonal slices, about 1/2 inch wide. Line them up, cut side down, and bake another 10 minute on the other, or until they are lightly golden. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
"Nobody sees a flower, really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time- like to have a friend takes time." Georgia O' Keefe