The end of November might mean Thanksgiving for some, black Friday shopping for others, and the Grey Cup for my fellow Canadians. For me, the end of November is about baking biscotti. I would like to share this recipe for Simple Almond Date Biscotti with all of you.
You might be wondering why I am baking biscotti at the end of November. Truth be told, I start my holiday baking blintz around this time, and biscotti are always the first cookies to be made, since they keep and freeze really well.
As we approach Christmas, I make different kinds of cookies according to how long they keep. I even make a Cookie Calendar, which I adapt from year to year, to keep me organized. (Don’t judge me but yes, I have a cookie calendar 🙂 ). This has been my routine for the past 20 years. A platter of cookies makes for great hostess gifts and Christmas presents… a personalized way of showing someone you care.
I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone loves cookies. I’ve never really intended to create a cookie “tradition” or anything like that, but somehow, it’s become a “thing” in my family – everyone now brings a platter of their own cookies to Christmas dinner, and everyone’s eating cookies and talking cookies and swapping cookie recipes!
With that being said, today’s spotlight is a recipe for a Simple Almond Date Biscotti that does not require to be baked a second time. Technically, they should not even be called biscotti, since this is a term that refers to something being baked (cotti) twice (bis). If you wanted, you could put them in the oven for a second baking, but I prefer these Simple Almond Date Biscotti without this added step.
Biscotti are truly one of my favourite types of cookies. In the past, I have already shared with you a recipe for chocolate hazelnut biscotti, the classic almond biscotti, a super thin crispy almond biscotti and, for those of you that have nut allergies, an Italian anise biscotti. Isn’t it wonderful to have choices!
Origins of the recipe for Simple Almond Date Biscotti:
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A few years ago, I came across a book called Sweet Maria’s Italian Cookie Tray: A Cookbook. This is a paperback cookbook with no pictures except for some black and white sketched prints. As I glanced through some of the recipes, I immediately recognized the simplicity of her Italian cookie recipes, just like the ones my mom used to make. Sometimes, I feel that there is so much emphasis placed on creating something new, something revolutionary. I think this train of thought can work with some recipes, but with others, I think it’s best to keep things simple. So how could I possibly resist a book with the same philosophy as mine? This paperback book has a whole section on biscotti and that is where I found this recipe.
I made minor changes to this recipe: I substituted the walnuts with almonds; and I use a little under 1 cup of both the sugars (the original recipe calls for 1 cup of each). You will notice that a simple brushing with an egg before the loaves are baked will result in a deep golden colored crust.
This recipe for Simple Almond Date Biscotti is great even without the second baking. Soft, with the occasional crunch from the almonds, and the natural sweetness of the dates. Truly great to have with a good cup of java or espresso! Enjoy!!!
Simple Almond Date Biscotti
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup dates chopped
- 1 cup almonds chopped
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Position rack in the center.
- Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and cinnamon).
- Add the chopped dates and almonds. Combine well. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs.
- Add oil, and sugars. Whisk lightly together.
- Add to flour mixture; stir with wooden spoon until well incorporated.
- Divide dough into half. Place each half on the cookie sheet, shaping each half into a log.
- Brush the top of both loaves with the beaten egg.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown in colour and firm. Let cool slightly.
- Remove from baking sheet and transfer to cutting board.
- Using a serrated knife, slice cookies at an angle about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick.
- Cookies can be frozen or stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
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Ciao for now!
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