Biscotti alle Mandorle (Almond Cookies)
Here is one of the most traditional Italian cookies. These fragrant and light cookies require a double baking, so they perfectly fit with the word “Biscotto” (the Italian name for cookie, that means twice cooked). Bakeries throughout Italy have their secret recipes for them, so we’re sharing with you the ‘Sabina’ version. We hope you like them, we definitely do!
300 gr (2 1/3 cups) all purpose 00 flour – make sure you have some additional, approximately 1 extra cup
100 gr (1/2 cup) sugar
40 gr (1.2 oz) softened butter
2 medium eggs
1 shot glass of limoncello (or anise liquor)
Zest of ½ organic lemon
50 ml (1 fl. oz.) whole milk
120 gr (4.5 oz) almonds
1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
Pinch of Mediterranean Sea Salt
Chop the almonds in coarse pieces by using a knife (do not grind them!).
In a large mixing bowl, pour in the 00 all-purpose flour. Then add the sugar, the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix with a whisk. Now form a large volcano of this mixture and crack two eggs into the crater. Beat them with a fork, then add the butter, the milk, the shot of limoncello liquor and the zest of ½ lemon. Knead until you get a very smooth and soft dough (you may need extra flour in this process to adjust the dough). Now you can add the coarsely chopped almonds to this dough, and knead to incorporate them into the dough. Cut the dough into two parts, then mold them into a rectangular bread shapes (approximately 1” in height). Bake to 180 °C/360 °F.
Once cooked, let them cool for 5 minutes. Then slice the “loaves” on a slight diagonal into your classic cookies by using a sharp knife (the shape of the cookies should be like tiny boats). Now bake this cookies again at 180 °C/350 °F for 10 minutes, with one of their surfaces facing upwards. After five minutes, turn them upside down and cook the other surface for other 10 minutes. Once completely cooked, let them cool and set aside.
These cookies are great dunked in milk or coffee at breakfast, or dunked in white wine as a traditional Italian Sunday lunch dessert!