Apricot and Almond Biscotti are perfect with a cup of coffee (or tea) at any time of day or year. They can be crunchy or chewy and they aren't overly sweet. They're good for bake sales as you can make them ahead of time - they keep well for at least a couple of weeks.
Biscotti means twice cooked - like biscuit, although most biscuits I make are not literally cooked twice. Biscotti, however, are.
Until quite recently it hadn't occurred to me to make biscotti. I quite like to eat them, but I find them a bit boring with just nuts in. It wasn't until one of my girls asked me to make something for a bake sale that I figured these were the ideal candidate. You can sell them as a gift because they keep well - 2-4 weeks in an airtight container.
Easy to find in the supermarket or health store. Apricots need cutting into about 6-8 pieces, which is quick and easy to do it with kitchen scissors.
You do need whole almonds - flaked ones are too thin. The fiddliest part of this recipe is cutting the almonds into similar size pieces to the apricots. You could try blitzing them in small batches in a small processor, but it's too easy to powder them - so beware!
For this recipe you need large eggs. If you use medium eggs it will be too dry. My original recipe did call for medium eggs and didn't work when I used large ones (which I always do) so I've adapted it to be consistent.
Note to self (and others), always check what size eggs the book uses as default. (This is why I always specify the size. It does make a difference!)
Vanilla Extract is made from vanilla pods. Vanilla essence is often synthetic. If it's all you have, use twice as much essence and buy extract next time.
Secrets of Success
Biscotti are not difficult to make if you have a good recipe that you follow carefully.
Check your egg size
As above, check the egg size, so that you can reduce or increase the other ingredients if your eggs are not as the recipe states.
Baking biscotti twice
First, they're cooked in a log shape, so the only shaping you have to do is into two logs.
Once these are almost cooked, you take them out of the oven and cut into slices. The tricky bit is not burning your fingers - and you do need a sharp knife to make it easy,
Then cook the slices to brown and dry out. I prefer to reduce the second cook so that my biscotti are slightly chewy.
Long story short, this recipe works. It sticks to your fingers a bit, but not too much. It makes masses of delicious Apricot and Almond Biscotti and you may never want to buy them again.
- - I've cut this to fit most of my traybake tins and roasting tins. No greasing, and it goes in the dishwasher to clean - very easy!
- – also reduces the washing up as it goes in the dishwasher. Again, no greasing. You just use over a to keep the mess down and you can roll biscuits out on it as it’s non-stick, so even less to clear up!
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Apricot and Almond Biscotti
- 100 g dried apricots
- 125 g whole almonds
- 300 g plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (5ml)
- ½ teaspoon salt (2.5ml)
- 240 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5ml)
- Line 2 baking sheets with a liner or baking parchment
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 185°C fan/ gas mark 6/ 400°F
- Chop the apricots into manageable pieces. 6 or 8 pieces per apricot, according to the size of the apricots.Easiest with kitchen scissors
- Chop the almonds into similar sized pieces, using a very sharp knifeChop them in small batches, - about a quarter at a time - to avoid them scattering around the kitchen.
- Break the eggs into a small mixing bowl. Add the vanilla essence and mix with the eggs
- Weigh all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl (flour, baking powder, salt, sugar)
To make the biscotti:
- Stir the dry ingredients until they are thoroughly mixed. Add the apricots and almonds to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the eggs to the mixture and mix thoroughly. Use a spoon and then your hands
- Divide the dough in two and roll each into a log shape 25cm long by about 5 cm high
- Cook for 25 minutes until light brown. Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes to slightly harden.Leave the oven on
- Cut into 1 cm slices and put back on the baking sheet
- Cook for 10 minutes. Turn the biscotti over and cook for 5 more minutes until golden brownYou may need a few extra minutes, especially if you like your biscotti very crunchy
- Turn the biscotti onto a wire cooling rack.