vanilla almond spiced biscotti.

After last week, I think we can all agree that I could accurately rename my blog, “Girl Versus Carboloading.” The story is told by me, Girl, who tries to fight off* all the urges to devour cookie pies, granola and pan rolls in a single sitting but it is all in vain. And then here you come along for a visit and I offload all my carboloading onto you and then you and that healthy eating regimen you’re trying to stick to during the holidays begin to hate me. Or maybe you love me, because now you’ve got all sorts of energy to quickburn at the gym or perhaps, more accurately, while you’re baking muffins.

Yeah… I apologize. Here, have some biscotti.

mixing the dough.

block o' biscotti.

The thing is, I can’t stop myself. But it’s not my fault. When I think of the holidays, I think of my family and friends. And when I think of my family and friends, I think of spreading comfort and joy. And when I think of comfort and joy, I think of cookies. And when I think of cookies, I think of baking truckloads of them and giving them away to family and friends. And yet, somehow a few manage to sneak their way into my cookie jar and inevitably, my mouth. Thus the carboloading. Thus the energy to bake even more treats during the holidays. Thus the need to give them away to friends and family. Thus how they end up in my cookie jar and inevitably, my mouth. And so it goes.

sugar + spice.

crumbly.

So if I am stuck in this catch-22 of sorts, I might as well make something delicious — and these vanilla almond spiced biscotti fit the bill. They’re a perfect balance of sweet and spicy (spicy as in many spices, not as in my-mouth-is-on-fire) with delicate slices of almonds tucked into their centers. They’re crumbly and sandy but still hold up excellently to a good soak in a cup of coffee. They also transport really well, whether it’s to a cookie exchange, holiday party or directly into your pie hole. They’re pretty much just aching to be your best friend and to help you make new best friends. Thus the reason I most love to make them. Thus the carboloading.

biscotti, bird's eye view.

And so it goes.

*Let’s be honest, I’m not really trying. It’s Christmas. I’ll eat more salad in the new year.

biscotti + coffee.

Vanilla Almond Spiced Biscotti
A Girl Versus Dough original

Yields: 12-16 biscotti

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add almonds, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and stir to combine.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll and pat dough into a 9-by-2-inch rectangle; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake dough 30 minutes or until lightly golden.

Remove dough from oven. Brush top with egg white; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Return dough to oven and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes on a cooling rack.

Transfer dough to a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut dough into 1-inch thick slices (or as thick as you want). Place slices cut side up on baking sheet. Bake another 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer biscotti to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Disclosure: I received compensation from Gold Medal Flour for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.

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