The word biscotti translated means “twice baked”. These almond biscuits are also known as Cantuccini where they originated in the city of Prato in Tuscany. They are traditionally served to be dipped in Vin Santo (holy wine). Vin Santo is a viscous, sweet dessert wine that is unique to Tuscany and has a long history as a welcoming tradition.
In the US, the dunking or dipping choices are usually coffee or tea but dunking does seem to prevail as a favored way to enjoy these crunchy treats. Biscotti are easy to make and most recipes, this one included, requires only a hand mixer and even that is negotiable if you have a strong arm. Biscotti keep very well in an airtight container and some believe the flavor actually improves while they are stored. They make great gifts as well and, because they are sturdy, they are easy to dress up if you want to go all out in a presentation. No harm has ever been done by drizzling or dipping them in a little chocolate either.
McEvoy Ranch has just released our new Lemon Olive Oil made by utilizing the traditional agrumato method where the olives are crushed with whole Eureka lemons during milling. The process creates exceptional flavor and a crisp freshness in the oil. This year’s release is fragrant of lemon zest - sweet and tart.
Bonus time - that fresh extra virgin olive oil, packed with polyphenols, now has lemon peel. Lemon peel and zest are rich in flavonoids which act as a powerful antioxidant in our bodies. Good and good for you!
I fell in love with this oil on first whiff and can think of divine pasta dishes, delicious fresh fish with a drizzle, soft cheese and so much more. I was on a biscotti mission, however, and I couldn’t wait to try this new oil in a baking application.
I fussed around with several iterations of this recipe but I am happy with this one and happy to share it with you.
Lemon Olive Oil BiscottiThese are aromatic delights and a perfect showcase for McEvoy Ranch Lemon Olive Oil.
Yield 36 to 48 Biscotti
1 cup whole almonds, skin on and roasted
2-½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
2 Meyer lemons, zest (Eureka or other lemons may be substituted.)
1 cup sugar
½ cup McEvoy Ranch Lemon Olive Oil + 2 tablespoons for brushing logs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Pulse almonds in a food processor 3 to 4 times until roughly chopped. You can hand chop if you don’t have or want to use a food processor.
Whisk together almonds, flour, baking powder and salt.
Photo of the dry ingredients together
Combine eggs, lemon zest, sugar, lemon olive oil and vanilla. Beat with mixer on medium speed for approximately one minute.
Photo of that beautiful oil added to the sugar
With mixer running on medium speed, slowly add flour mixture to egg mixture, scraping down a couple of times.
Mix until dough just comes together being careful not to overmix.
Here is a photo of what the dough looks like when it is ready to come out of the bowl
Scoop dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and shape into approximately two equal size logs.
With a pastry brush, brush logs lightly with lemon olive oil.
Here is a photo - my batch needed to have an extra small log created. Yours may as well - it’s okay.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
Remove the pans from the oven and let the logs cool for 15 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 250 F.
When cooled, slide the logs, still on the parchment, onto a cutting board.
Slice into the size you desire. I cut these approximately 1/2 inch thick. Angled cuts look elegant and are traditional but if you want a greater yield, you can cut the logs straight across.
Put the slices on a parchment lined pan and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip them over and bake for another 7 minutes.
Take out of the oven, remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Photo of biscotti cooling on rack