I love a good cookie! And biscotti always just feel so elegant to me. And I love to have a couple of treats on hand that hold up well so that I can reach for something within my dietary limitations as needed by my soul. So something like a biscotti will last me a while in an air tight container. And it allows me to have a little lovely treat to offer a guest, should someone come over for a cup of coffee! My yiayia would be quite proud!
We lived downstairs from yiayia Anneta, and her cupboards were always well stocked should company come over. (My sister and I used to hide under the dining room table to secretly nibble from the stash.)
Back then, in the 80s, a friend would sometimes ring the doorbell or shout up to her balcony “Anneta!”, and we would all be so happy to have guests!
I remember a friend of hers from work, Nitsa. Absolutely beautiful tall buxom blonde who would come and knit with her. Wonderful laugh and big smile. Nitsa had taught me how to knit and I had begun knitting a purple fuzzy scarf.
It was people like this who would pop on over and she would have something available for them to enjoy with coffee!
Biscotti are a traditional Italian twice baked cookie. In Greece we call twice baked cookies paksimadia. I based this biscotti recipe on traditional Greek flavors like mastiha which is indigenous to Chios, lemon, cardamom & pistachios. Finally they are dipped in sugar free milk chocolate and sprinkled with Greek sea salt. My father collected the sea salt especially for me before my last trip.
2 cups almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp pure monk fruit (or use a 1/4 cup your favorite sweetener)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
2tbs mastiha liqueur
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp butter (melted)
1/4 tsp of salt
2 eggs beaten
1 cup of raw pistachios
1 beaten egg & 1 tbsp of cream for egg wash
1/2 bag (1 cup) of milk chocolate chips
1/2 tsp coconut oil
a sprinkle of coarse sea salt
Preheat oven at 350 F.
In a large bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients including the lemon zest to be sure all is evenly distributed in the dough. Add in the beaten eggs & all the liquid ingredients. Save the melted butter for last. I don’t want the warm butter to accidentally cook my eggs in case it has gotten too hot.
Form a dough ball. If it is a too wet, add one additional tbsp of almond flour at a time. You basically don’t want it to stick to your hands.
On a parchment lined pan, form a loaf shape with your dough and gently press on it to flatten it a bit. You want it to be around two inches in height.
Apply an egg wash to it to achieve a glossy finish.
Bake that for 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Pierce the center with a knife. It is ready when the knife comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely on a rack.
When it is completely cool, you are ready for phase two! Preheat the oven to 300 F.
Slice your loaf into 3/4 to 1 inch slices and arrange on your lined baking sheet. Toast each side for 20 minutes each. Allow them to cool down completely in the oven with the oven door slightly ajar. This will ensure a crisp cookie.
When they have cooled down, you can now dip them in chocolate! You can melt 1 cup of chocolate chips in intervals in the microwave. I prefer to create my makeshift double boiler instead! Fill your frying pan half way with water. Place a ceramic bowl in the center with the chocolate chips and a teaspoon of coconut oil. Warm it up on low heat & allow it to melt. Stir to mix.
Remove from heat and dip in your biscotti. Place them each back on the parchment lined pan. Sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt at the end & place in the refrigerator to set the chocolate.
Store it in an airtight container lined with a paper towel to absorb any moisture and parchment paper between the layers. This will help to keep your biscotti nice and crisp. And they usually last for up to a month.