Lemon and Almond Biscotti with no butter or oil added, a delicious recipe that is super easy to make at home. Crunchy, big on flavours, and perfect for any celebration, these delicious biscuits are best served dunk in a hot drink.
The weather might be getting nicer - finally!, but a nice cup of tea or coffee are still the very best thing to enjoy. Especially that it's warm enough for an afternoon tea party in the garden. And what could go better with a nice hot drink than a little treat on the side.
This recipe has been adapted from Nigella's Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti, and they are as good as they can get. Another great variation is my Cranberry and Orange Biscotti with Pistachios.
What are biscotti
Biscotti are Italian biscuits that have been twice baked to get a dry, crunchy texture. They are extremely versatile, and the basic recipe can be tweaked to created many flavours.
For my biscotti I chose to go for a lemon kick and some nice extra crunch from the almond flakes. It's a lovely Spring flavour that is just perfect for this time of the year.
- egg - at room temperature
- sugar -either caster or granulated
- plain flour
- lemon zest - or lemon extract
- almond flakes - they become beautifully crunchy when baked
- baking powder
Step-by-step photos and instructions
My recipe does not use butter nor oil, but instead uses basic ingredients to get a perfectly crisp texture:
- in a bowl, add the sugar and egg and cream well to a silky texture
- add the sifted flour, baking powder, lemon zest and juice, and almond flakes
- mix all the ingredients well to get a sticky dough
- shape the dough into a long sausage, and transfer it to a baking tray lined with kitchen foil or non-stick paper
- bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 25 minutes until pale yellow
- remove from the oven, leave it to rest for 5 minutes, then use a bread knife to cut the loaf diagonally into slices of 1 cm thickness
- place each slice back onto the baking tray, and bake for a further 8-10 minutes until beautifully golden brown
Biscotti might sound like a complicated recipe, but they are actually so easy to make. The first time I had biscotti they were from a shop and I was rather disappointed with the overall texture and taste -or rather lack of it.
Getting the right texture is crucial - they must be crisp enough to be able to be dunk into a hot drink and not crumble completely into the cup, but not rock hard that you can break your teeth into them.
I find that the no-fat dough is just perfect to achieve this texture, as butter can make them too crumbly - even if it does add to the flavour.
As for decorating, you can dip them into chocolate like I did with my Poppy Seed and Lemon Madeleines - they don't need to be completely covered in it, just at one end. They can also be topped with more chopped nuts of any kind. What a treat!
The biscotti harden with the second baking, when all the moisture is dried out, so not baking them for long enough the second time round might be the issue. Also, bear in mind that they will harden even more once they cool down completely.
It is best to cut the biscotti after the first baking, but not straight away, as they will be too soft to handle. Let them cool for 5 minutes to harden slightly, then cut them, and bake for the second time.
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Lemon and Almond Biscotti
- 1 egg
- 75 g sugar
- 125 g plain flour
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup almond flakes
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Add the egg and sugar to a large bowl and beat well until you have a creamy texture and a pale-yellow colour.
- Sift in the flour, add the lemon zest, baking powder and almonds and mix to get a stick dough.
- Line a large rectangle baking tray with non-stick paper or kitchen foil, and shape the dough into a large sausage that is slightly flatten with your hands.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 25 minutes until pale golden, then remove from the oven and leave it to cool for 5 minutes.
- Use a bread knife to cut the load across diagonally into biscuits of about 1 cm thickness.
- Arrange the biscotti back onto the tray, and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown - they will harden more then they cool down completely.
- To see the measurements in cups and ounces, please click on the US CUSTOMARY link.
- The amount of ingredients listed can be adjusted depending on the number of servings you need, just click on the number next to SERVINGS.
- Don't leave the biscuit loaf to cool for longer than 5 minutes after the first baking, as it will harden too much and it will be hard to cut it without crumbling.
- Once they are out of the oven for the second time, the biscotti won't be perfectly crunchy, they will harden more when they cool down completely.
- I find that the no-fat dough is just perfect to achieve this texture, as butter can make them too crumbly - even if it does add to the flavour.