Perfect Biscotti Tips
I first tried making biscotti over a decade ago, and it was a dismal failure. For whatever reason, I missed the part of the recipe that said you needed to bake it twice -- or perhaps the recipe I used didn’t know what it was talking about in the first place. At any rate, I only baked it once, it was dry and sandy and not at all crispy, and I never bothered to waste flour on it again.
Fast forward, and I’ve finally figured out that twice-baked secret, which was reinforced to me by our Plum Deluxe Tea Club member, Tasha Standridge, an experienced biscotti maker. “Twice baking the dough is what gives them their crunch,” she affirmed. “Traditionally, biscotti is very crunchy, so don’t be afraid to bake it till they’re golden brown. Then, leave them out to dry even more.”
Another tip for crunchy biscotti: Don’t let your dough get too wet. Add water gradually, just until dough comes together. If the dough does get too wet, add in more flour until the right consistency is reached.
If you do like your biscotti on the chewier side -- and I admit, after having some dental work done I do like mine slightly al dente -- don’t bake them quite as long. But for good crunch, I definitely recommend following Tasha’s advice.
Your Biscotti, Your Way
Almost any black tea will work for this biscotti recipe, but I like to use the Royale Assam black tea because it’s my favorite and I love the way the malty flavors of Assam complement the added almonds. The edible safflower and malva flowers found in this tea lend bright specks of color reminiscent of sunshine and spring.
For the flour, I used Otto’s Cassava Flour, making my biscotti both gluten free and paleo friendly; you can use whatever gluten free -- or not gluten free -- flour you’d like. Play around and see what works for you! The cassava root flour turned out a lightly sweet, toothsome cookie that tasted even better than the traditional biscotti I’ve had. This could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it; I ate four of them before I’d even realized!
Almond Royale Tea Biscotti
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 3-4 tablespoons Royale Assam tea leaves
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir in almonds and tea leaves until well mixed. Pour beaten eggs and vanilla into dry ingredients and mix well, adding water gradually and kneading with hands until soft, sticky dough forms.
Turn dough onto baking sheet and use wet hands to pat into long loaf approximately 1-2 inches thick. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes. Turn oven temperature down to 300 degrees F.
Use a thin, sharp knife to cut loaf into 1-inch thick strips, on the bias; cut the strips in half if you’d like for shorter biscotti. Arrange the cookie strips on their sides on the baking sheet and bake for another 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown, turning them over halfway through (10 minutes per side).
Remove biscotti from oven and allow to cool completely for optimum crispiness. Store in an airtight container.
all photos by author