Afternoon tea and almond biscotti


You can’t get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. ~C.S. Lewis

I cannot think of a more pleasurable way to spend an afternoon than curling up on a comfortable chair with a cup of fragrant tea and a book.

A few years ago my friend Lorraine presented me with a Christmas gift of homemade biscotti. They were delicious! I learned that biscotti are small, crisp twice-baked cookies typically containing nuts, made originally in Italy. I loved these crunchy, delicious cookies and decided that I needed to learn how to make them and add them to my afternoon tea time.

The years rolled by and after purchasing many, many boxes of Nonni’s biscotti, I finally decided to find a biscotti recipe to try.  One afternoon I was looking through one of newest favorite cookbooks, The Slim Down South Cookbook by Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD and came across a tasty sounding recipe for almond biscotti.

Great,” I thought.  I had all the ingredients so off to the kitchen I went.  The recipe seemed easy enough; at least I thought so.  By the end of the afternoon I realized that even cooks that have been in the kitchen their whole lives sometimes make mistakes.

IMG_3268bAlmond Biscotti

4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup chopped almonds

  1. Beat eggs and sugar at high speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes or until foamy. Add oil and extracts, beating until blended.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder; add to sugar mixture, beating well. Gently fold almonds into dough. Cover and freeze 30 minutes or until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°. Divide dough in half; lightly flour hands and shape each portion into an 8×5-inch slightly flattened log on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes or until firm. Cool on pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack, and cool at least 15 minutes.
  5. Cut each log diagonally into ½-inch thick slices with a serrated knife, using a gentle sawing motion; place slices on lightly greased baking sheets.
  6. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes; turn cookies over, and bake 15 more minutes. Remove to wire racks, and cool 20 minutes.

Serving size 1 biscotti—Calories 121; Fat 3.5g (sat 0.5g, mono 1.7g, poly 0.7g); Protein 3.1g; Carb 19.3g; Fiber 0.8g; Chol 27mg; Iron 1mg; Sodium 39mg; Calc 32mg.

I was in a hurry, which you should never be when trying a new recipe, and skipped an important step and did not follow one step accurately.

In step 2, it was necessary to ‘cover and freeze for 30 minutes”, I did not. Then I sliced the cookies thicker than the directions recommended.

When the biscotti were done, I felt that, rather than having a crunchy texture, they were a hard and doughy. I decided to go back into the kitchen and try again.

The second try was so much better. The biscotti were thinner, crunchier and a perfect complement to my cup of tea.

The next day I sat down to spend  a lovely afternoon with a cup of my favorite white fusion tea, a crunchy almond biscotti and the newest women’s murder club novel, 14th Deadly Sin, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.

As I sat enjoying my tea time interlude I thought, “Life is so very good and delicious”.



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5 Responses to Afternoon tea and almond biscotti

  1. Randy says:

    Good, I really like the biscotti. I just pick them out of the cookie jar and eat them without coffee or tea.

  2. Dee manin says:

    Mary. Toast the almonds first……shhhh….Dee

  3. Caryn says:

    Love biscotti, might have to try your recipe.

  4. Lana Halpern says:

    Mary, I have a Biscotti Jar collection ever since my trip to Italy with my girls. For one year, I made many different kinds of biscotti. One interesting recipe starts with a Cake Mix and you add to it . If I can find it again, I’ll send it to you. Another is from my cousin. It is a Jewish recipe for Mandel Bread, but it is very similar to a Biscotti. In Africa, we drank a lot of Red Rubioos Tea. Quite tasty.

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