Biscotti morbidi alla mandorla immersi in cioccolato
Biscotti per colazione? Sì, per favore! ~ Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please!
Italian desserts tend to be less sweet than desserts in the U.S., and many of their sweets, or dolci, have flavors derived from nuts. Hazelnut (nocciola), pistachio (pistacchio), and almond (mandorla) are popular flavors for gelato, cookies, and cakes. These almond cookies are some of my favorite treats to make because they have very few ingredients, and their simplicity takes me back to my Italian host mom's kitchen where I would dunk cookies, or biscotti*, into my coffee every morning for breakfast. The habit of eating cookies in the morning is widely practiced in Italy and was quite a delightful discovery for me when I first spent extensive time there. Sometimes I make these cookies without dipping them in chocolate and have one with my coffee, which I highly suggest. #treatyoself
*Biscotti is the Italian word for cookies. Americans think of that word as pertaining only to the long and crunchy cookie that also goes by that name, but Italians use the word biscotti to refer to all types of cookies.
La Ricetta ~ The recipe
This recipe is adapted from one I found from Smitten Kitchen, which you can check out here.
Gli ingredienti ~ the ingredients
pasta di mandorle ~ almond paste - 16 oz.
zucchero granulare ~ granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
albumi di 2 uova ~ two egg whites
mandorle affettate ~ sliced almonds (blanched or toasted) - 1-1 1/2 cups
cioccolato semi-dolce (sciogliato) ~ semi-sweet chocolate (melted) - 1 cup
codette colorate ~ colored sprinkles
Side note: I got my ~*sUpEr ItAliAn*~ red, white, and green sprinkles at a supermarket on Long Island called Uncle Giuseppe's. Love that place.
This recipe makes about 18 cookies.
Step 1. Preheat your oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2. Using a stand mixer (or your hands, really), mix together the almond paste, sugar, and egg whites. That's the dough - so easy.
Step 3. Set up an assembly line. You'll want your dough, a bowl of sliced almonds, your baking sheet, and a bowl of water handy. The water bowl is to keep your hands moist, as the dough is quite sticky. Having slightly damp hands helps to keep the dough from sticking when forming your cookies.
Step 4. Form a ball of dough in your hands and slightly pat it down into a cookie shape. Coat the dough in almonds by gently dropping it into the almond bowl and covering all sides of the cookie. Place on the baking sheet. Rinse hands. Repeat.
Step 5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Cookies should be slightly puffed up but not really changed in color.
Step 6. Place cookies on a cooling rack to cool. Meanwhile, melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl. Once cool, dip your cookies halfway into the chocolate and place back on the cooling rack. Sprinkle with sprinkles!
Pro tip: I like to put the cooling rack on top of the baking sheet so that any dripping chocolate and run-away sprinkles land on the parchment paper and are easier to clean up.
Step 7. Once the chocolate is dry, they're ready to enjoy! Eat with friends or family, by yourself, with your cat, whatever!