I am a lover of all things almond. I love dark chocolate covered almonds, honey roasted almonds, and those crunchy cinnamon coated almonds that come warm in a paper cone from street vendors. I adore the Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company’s Toasted Almond coffee with a splash of almond milk. A big bowl of salted chocolate almond ice cream makes me happy. And I can’t forget marzipan, which I have been known to snack on to the point of it being considered an addiction. The kids love to snack on almonds, certainly appreciate a piece of toast lathered in almond butter, and will never say no to the sliced almond cookies from Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop in Baltimore’s Little Italy.
So, when coming up with this recipe we tried to think of as many ways as we could to pack in the almonds and satisfy our addiction. We used almond meal, almond extract, almondolas, and marzipan. When you knead the dough, the marzipan tends to spread and leaves ribbons of almond flavor throughout the biscotti. Almondolas, almonds coated with chocolate, hazelnut paste, and powdered sugar, don’t last long in our house. So when we buy them, we use them right away.
Chocolate and Marzipan Biscotti with Almondolas
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup almond meal
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs and 1 egg white
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ cup almondolas
½ heaping cup diced marzipan
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg white, and almond extract.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Add the almondolas and marzipan, and knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 to 20 times.
6. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes. Firmly press the top with granulated sugar.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
8. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
What to do with the ends #12: Give the ends to the kids and let them play biscotti tag in the back yard. When they are done throwing them at each other, leave them for the birds and squirrels. (I can’t take credit for this idea. It is actually my brother’s brainchild. And I am imaging he would have enjoyed throwing the ends at my head when we were kids!)