My mother went on vacation to California and she brought me back a lemon. That’s it…just a lemon…nothing else. And I was happy. Very, very happy. She picked the lemon from a friend’s organic lemon tree in Berkeley, then packed it in her suitcase and schlepped it home. (I’m pretty sure she did some other stuff in between like shop and play Canasta). It was the biggest lemon I’d ever seen – it could have been a big yellow orange if oranges were yellow. As a lemon lover, I was thinking of all the great things I could make with it. Look at Mega Berkeley Lemon compared to a normal one.
The same day my mother gifted me with the oversized citrus, Domenica Marchetti’s new cookbook, Ciao Biscotti arrived and I was even happier.
Filled with both sweet and savory recipes, it’s an adorable book with easy to follow recipes and fabulous photos. Domenica is an Italian food writer and cookbook author extraordinaire. Several of her other cookbooks sit on my shelves and pages of her recipes from magazines such as Food and Wine and Fine Cooking are tucked into my recipe binder. Each recipe is authentic, well thought out and with uncomplicated instructions.
I had this enormous lemon and was ready to roll. Can you believe Domenica has three biscotti recipes with lemon? “Triple Lemon” looked like the one I was looking for and it turned out perfectly. The right amount of lemon and the exact amount of sweetness.
And since my mother didn’t bring me chocolate from a cocoa tree, nor aniseed from an anise plant (maybe on her next trip), I’ll save the Lemon and Chocolate Biscotti or the Olive Oil and Citrus Biscotti recipes for another time. But I’ll still need my mother to go to California to bring me back another lemon.
- 1 c./80 g. sliced almonds
- 1 T. vegetable oil
- 2¼ c./285 g flour
- ½ c./100 g sugar
- ¼ c./50 g packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- Finely grated zest from 2 lemons
- 8 T./115 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut in ½" pieces
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1¼ tsp. lemon extract
- 1 c./100 g confectioners' sugar
- A few drops of milk if needed
- Heat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 7-10 minutes until lightly toasted.
- Lightly coat another 11" x 17"/28 cm x 43 cm rimmed baking sheet with the oil.
- Combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix briefly on low speed.
- Add the lemon zest and almonds and mix briefly on low to combine.
- Add the butter and mix on medium low until the mixture looks like damp sand.
- Pour in the eggs, 1 T. of lemon juice and 1 tsp. of lemon extract and mix on medium speed until a soft dough has formed.
- Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Gently pat each piece with your hands into a rough oval (moisten your hands with water if needed).
- Place each piece of dough lengthwise on the baking sheet and stretch and pat each piece into a log about 2½"/6 cm wide and 12 "/30 cm long. Press down on the logs a bit to flatten out the tops.
- Bake for 25 minutes until they are lightly browned and just set.
- Cool for 5 minutes then transfer logs to a rack and cool another 20 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 325°F/165°C.
- Transfer the cooled logs to a cutting board and cut them diagonally with a serrated knife into ¾"/2 cm thick slices.
- Arrange the slices, cut side up on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for another 10 minutes until slightly crisp. Transfer to the rack and cool completely.
- Place the rack over a baking sheet or sheet of wax paper or parchment paper and arrange the slices upright.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar with 2 T. lemon juice and ¼ tsp. lemon extract until the icing is smooth and opaque, but thin enough to fall from the tip of the whisk in a ribbon. Thin with a few drops of milk if necessary.
- Dip the tip of the whisk or a fork in the icing and drizzle the icing back and forth over the biscotti and let dry before serving.