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My roots go deep.  My Italian heritage permeates my veins, even though I don’t look the slightest bit Italian.  My mothers olive skin and dark hair got lost in the gene pool, but her deep, dark signature brown eyes grace my face.  My own little piece of Italy… well, that and my love for pasta, cooking with garlic, and making delicious twice-baked cookies.

Speaking of Italian cookies, I whipped up a batch last week to share with some friends and family.  People get excited about receiving these yummy little cookies.  They’re being coming famous, I tell ya!

If you’ve been trying to brainstorm a few gifts for those people on your Christmas list that are hard to shop for, homemade cookies just might be the answer.  These cookies make an excellent gift!  Pair them with a bag of coffee beans or a new set of coffee mugs, and it will certainly be a gift that is well remembered!

If you can make regular cookies, you can make biscotti.  You just need a bit more time and some patience and you’ll be good to go.  I used this recipe* as my guide, but a made a few significant changes.

Ingredients needed (as per my recipe adjustment):

  • 3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 10 tablespoons of margarine (melted)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of shaved almonds
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg white (keep this separate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread almond slivers on small, ungreased baking sheet.  Be sure to spread them out well.  Bake for about 10 minutes – stirring regularly, as to be sure they do not burn.  Allow to cool.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  If you do not have parchment paper, you can line the baking sheet with tin foil and coat it with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well.

In a large bowl, melt the butter, then add sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.  Stir by hand until the ingredients are blended completely.  Slowly add in flour mixture.  Continue to stir until the mixture is blended completely.  Stir in almonds.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Refrigerate dough for about 1 hour or until dough is chilled.

Once dough is chilled, divide it into three 12 inch x 2 inch long logs.  Dough will spread as it bakes – so be sure to allow them space on the baking sheet.  In a small bowl, whisk egg white.  Once the egg white is foamy, spread a thin coating over the sides and top of each log.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.  (Time may vary depending on your oven.) Logs should be beginning to brown.

Remove logs from oven.  Move them to cooling racks.  Allow them to cool for about 15 minutes.  Once the logs are cool enough to handle, place log on cutting board and use a serrated knife to slice logs diagonally into 1/2 inch thick pieces.  If you wait until the logs are completely cool, the logs will break as they are cut.  So be sure to slice them while they are still warm.Place slices on back onto lined baking sheet with the sliced side facing down.  Return baking sheet back in the oven for 10 minutes.   Remove biscotti from oven and turn all slices over.  The slices should be slightly brown.  Return baking sheet to oven, and continue to bake turned biscotti for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and place the biscotti slices on a cooling rack until they are completely cool.

Store these goodies in an airtight container at room temperature! Yum!

You now have the perfect treat for your afternoon coffee break or a lovely handmade gift!  Enjoy!

~Keep on Smiling!~



*Original Recipe was published on Epicurious.com, written by Janet Murcuri.  While my recipe follows along with her basic instructions, changes have been made. (Just like to give credit where it’s due :))