Lavender Almond Biscotti

I posted my first episode of my very first podcast- EVER! I have worked so hard to get it going that I almost forgot how much work I have to do. Whew! I’m still figuring things out and it’s been such a fun ride! I’d love your feedback also-it’ll help me know what you want to talk about.

The podcast is available for streaming only on virginiasvittles.com and on SoundCloud.

In the first episode, I promised a recipe from my friend Jan, who owns The Elderberry in Charlottesville. Jan is a certified herbalist and is the owner/operator of the herbal apothecary.

The recipe that she gave me features lavender, a calming, cooling herb that has incredible benefits for the mind and body.

Although the original recipe calls for hazelnuts, I was only able to find almonds at this time of year; therefore, the substitution. When the holidays roll around in a few months again, simply swap out which nuts you feature in this recipe and, voila, you have a seasonal recipe, just in time for holiday baking!

This recipe yields amazing flavor and an excellent crumb, no matter what add-ins you use!

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Lavender Almond Biscotti

1 ¼ cup almonds, lightly toasted, divided
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers (augustifolia species)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white beaten with pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons coconut oil at room temperature
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest from 2 lemons
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325°.

Using ruler and permanent marker, draw two 8 by 3-inch rectangles, spaced 4 inches apart, on piece of parchment paper.  Grease baking sheet and place parchment on it, ink side down. Admittedly, I skipped this step in favor of making an estimated shape, which seemed to work pretty well. (Also, kiddo fingers optional.)

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Pulse 1 cup almonds in food processor until coarsely chopped, 8-10 pulses; transfer to bowl and set aside. Process remaining ¼ cup almonds in a food processor until finely ground (about 45 seconds).

Add flour, lavender, baking powder, and salt; process to combine (about 15 seconds). Transfer flour mixture to bowl. Process 2 eggs in the now-empty food processor until lightened in color and almost doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. With processor running, slowly add sugar until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.

Add the coconut oil, lemon zest, and vanilla; process until combined, about 10 seconds. Transfer egg mixture to medium bowl.

Sprinkle half the flour mixture over egg mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture and chopped almonds and gently fold until just combined.

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Divide batter in half. Using floured hands, form each half into 8 by 3-inch rectangle, using lines drawn on parchment as a guide if this is the method you chose.  Using a rubber spatula lightly coated with coconut oil, smooth the tops and sides of rectangles.  Bake until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, 25-30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.

At this point, these are giant, delicious, and warm cookies. Try not to eat them!

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Let the loaves cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board.  Using a serrated knife, slice each loaf on slight bias into ½ inch thick slices.  Lay slices, cut side down, about ¼ inch apart on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet.

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Bake until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 35 minutes, flipping slices halfway through baking.  Let cool completely before serving.

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Biscotti can be stored in airtight container for up to a month. If they make it that long, I give you my congrats.

What is your favorite way to use lavender?