Last week I was at the gym using one of their treadmills that conveniently have personal television screens and remote controls, which of course I love. And as is often the case, I turned the TV to one of my favorite channels – Food Network. Yes, I do occasionally feel guilty watching the chefs prepare fatty deliciousness while trying to burn pounds packed on by eating too much of said food. Okay, I really feel guiltier for putting the shows on where my fellow, probably more calorie-conscious, gym rats might be tempted. But hey, they show Food Network on the TVs in the locker rooms too, so I figure what’s a little more temptation going to do?
These biscotti have a lovely, slightly grainy texture from the cornmeal and a bright flavor from the lemon zest. This was my first attempt making biscotti, and it was really quite easy. I even managed to zest my lemons without zesting off a chunk of one my knuckles along the way. That never happens. So maybe these cookies have good mojo. My weary knuckles are sure thanking me. So is my stomach. Try these out, and I’m sure your stomachs will thank you too.
Lemon and Almond Biscotti
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
Zest from 3 lemons
3/4 whole almonds, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixture until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Mix in the lemon zest and then the flour, and beat until just blended. (The dough will be sticky). Stir in the almonds. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Divide the dough evenly into 2 equal mounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. With moist hands, space the dough evenly apart and form into 2 (9 by 3-inch) logs.
Bake for 35 minutes until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick diagonal slices. (I did this on a cutting board to avoid scratching my baking sheet.) Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the same baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are pale golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.
* Note: The original recipe called for dipping the cooled biscotti in melted white chocolate. I’m not the biggest fan of white chocolate, so I decided to forgo this step. Plus, without the chocolate, they’re almost healthy!