That’s probably the reason biscotti are my absolute favorite cookies to make around the holidays – they don’t ask for much in terms of labor or fuss and they happen to pack very nicely into cellophane bags for gifting and sharing.
I saw the inspiration for these cookies at Everyday Food (“Jamaretti”), and my first thought was how I might rusticate them a little…so I roasted whole, skin-on almonds and ground them into crumbs for the dough. I like the dark flecks in the cookie that you can see and taste, and how perfectly almonds and apricots taste together.
The technique in this recipe shares a simplicity of style with the method for biscotti dough — forming it into logs to bake then baking again — but the result is a bit more tender and buttery, and boasts a filling of tangy, tart, ever-so-slightly sweet apricot jam.
The cookies will keep well for a few days in a covered container at room temperature.
1 cup whole almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons almond paste, crumbled
¾ cup sugar
1 stick butter, at room temperature
½ cup apricot jam
½ teaspoon amaretto (optional)
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted and chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven.
- Toast the whole almonds on a baking sheet until they smell toasty and start to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Cool, then pulse in a food processor until they form fine crumbs.
- Whisk together the almonds, baking powder, salt and flour in a bowl until blended.
- Pulse almond paste, sugar and butter in food processor until smooth; add the eggs and pulse again to blend. Add the flour mixture and pulse a few times, just until the dough comes together. Dump onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a disc. Wrap dough in plastic and chill 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 4 pieces; use your hands to roll each piece into logs about 8 inches long; arrange the logs on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake 12 – 15 minutes – the surface should be starting to become firm and dry.
- Lay the handle of a wooden spoon lengthwise along each log, pressing down to form a trench. If using amaretto, stir into the jam. Spoon jam evenly into trench; return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or so, until the edges turn lightly golden. Sprinkle the tops with the sliced almonds, and transfer to a rack to cool.
- With a large sharp knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into slices.
- Makes 36 – 40 cookies
Inspired by a recipe at Martha Stewart Everyday Food