Warm, muggy summer weather generally means that your oven gets to take a quick vacation from baking up favorite recipes. Instead, ice cream and s’mores find themselves in heavy rotation — which seems to be fine by most everyone. However, I’ve sort of become obsessed with biscotti recently.
It all started when I had the classic Anise Almond version from a favorite coffee shop a few weeks ago. One bite, and I was suddenly on the hunt for the perfect recipe. A few experiments plus one impulse greenmarket purchase later, these emerged from my oven. The lavender is floral, but in no way overwhelming. I think that these will become fast friends with your afternoon iced coffee.
Toasted Hazelnut Lavender Biscotti
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon culinary lavender
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more all purpose)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped
- 3 tablespoons sanding sugar
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
Preheat oven to 35o°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toast hazelnuts: Place hazelnuts on a second, unlined baking sheet, and bake about 4-5 minutes, or until golden. Promptly wrap in a tea towel to let them steam. After a few minutes, rub hazelnuts together within the towel to release the skins. Discard skins and set hazelnuts aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating until fluffy. Stir in lavender and extracts, followed by flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in toasted hazelnuts.
Divide the dough in half, and form into two 2-inch wide logs (wetting your hands will prevent sticking). Next, mix up the sugar and lemon zest for the topping. Moisten the tops of biscotti logs with water, and sprinkle on the lemon sugar.
Bake about 30 minutes, or until top is set and the bottom is golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before cutting into slices. Bake biscotti slices, cut side up, for 8 minutes. Flip and bake for 8 more minutes, then cool on a baking sheet.