Sweet, tart, and a whole lot of fresh lemon flavour is what makes this Lemon Poppy Seed Almond Biscotti so delicious. Perfect for dunking in an afternoon hot drink!
The combination of lemon and poppy seeds have been quite popular for some time. I blame Starbucks for the craze. If you’ve ever tasted the lemon poppy seed loaf, you’ll know exactly what I mean!
There are many biscotti recipes that would fit well into this series. It was difficult to narrow down the flavours that would make the cut. I decided that I would try to include flavours that would appeal to the masses. So, this one had to be in the mix!
POPPY SEEDS IN BAKING
Poppy seeds are very common in baked goods. They add a subtle nutty flavour, but that’s not my favourite part. I love the little popping sounds and the crunching sensation I get when I bite into a poppy seed. They certainly do add texture! That much is certainly evident in these Lemon Poppy Seed Almond Biscotti.
Since the 19th century, poppy seeds have been commonly found in baked goods such as muffins here in North America. I love lemon poppy seed muffins! I’ve made scones with them too. But, my favourite is when they are covering a freshly baked bagel. Try my bagel recipe if you haven’t already. They are so delicious!
There are some that warn us about consuming too many poppy seeds. They do contain very low levels of opium alkaloids, such as morphine. There’s enough in there to throw off a drug test if you were to subjected to one. Here’s a great article that tells a little story of a little boy who ate too many poppy flowers.
HOW TO BLANCH ALMONDS
The use of blanched almonds can be found in many recipes. To be perfectly honest, I always buy them at the grocery store. In essence, they are almonds which have had the outer brown skin removed. For the most part, the skin is only removed for the purpose of appearance.
If you can’t find blanched almonds, you can prepare them at home very easily. First, place the almonds in a heat-proof bowl. Boil enough water in a kettle to cover the almonds. Pour the boiled water into the bowl with the almonds and let them sit for exactly one minute. Do not go over the one minute mark.
Drain the almonds in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. This will stop the almonds from continuing to cook. If they are hot for too long, you’ll lose the crunchiness. Lay the almonds out onto a clean kitchen towel and pat them dry.
Working with one almond at a time, take one in your hand and pinch the end with your thumb and finger. The skin will come off quite easily. Sometimes, if you pinch too hard, the almond will fly across the room! I like to place my free hand right in front of the almond so that it hits my hand and goes no further than that! Be sure to let the almonds dry completely before using them in any baked goods.
PACKAGING AND STORING
If you plan to enjoy these biscotti immediately, then you need not pay much attention the next paragraph or two. Once they are completely cooled, place them into a food-safe container and leave them on your counter top. They will be fresh for almost two full weeks.
Many people like to bake for Christmas ahead of time. We like to freeze our baked goods and put out a big spread when company comes. Many of us also like to give baked goods as gifts, especially to neighbours and friends.
These biscotti will last in the freezer for three months. Be sure you have a good container with a tight seal. Whenever I’m freezing cookies, I always double up on the seal action. Before I place the lid on, I always drape a sheet of plastic wrap on top. Then I push the lid on. I just feel that the lid fits more tightly. Any little thing I can do to keep the frost out, I’m going to do it!
Like I always say, if you freeze any baked goods, remove only the amount you want when you decide to thaw them. Fetch the container from the freezer and remove only what you need. Put the lid back on and get the container back in the fridge.
To properly thaw baked goods, place them on a plate or a wire cooling rack. Don’t pile them. Spread them out and give them some space. Let them sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. They will taste fresh and perfect every single time!
Like I said at the beginning of this series, I’ll be posting 12 biscotti recipes back to back. If you can’t wait, you can certainly refer back to a series from previous years. Just click on the collection photos below. Cheers!
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Lemon Poppy Seed Almond Biscotti
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 whole lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 cup whole blanched almonds
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Next, wish in the poppy seeds.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and butter until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes.
- Add the lemon zest and lemon extract to the butter mixture. Beat well to incorporate.
- Transfer the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat on low until just combined.
- Stir in the blanched almonds.
- Form the dough into a long log on the baking sheet. The dough log should measure 6" wide by 12" long. (Dust hands with flour if dough it too sticky to form into a log.)
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place baking sheet onto a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes.
- Gently transfer the log to a cutting board. Slice across the log to get slices of 3/4 inch thick.
- Lay the slices, cut side down on the baking sheet. Return to oven and bake for 12 minutes. Turn over each slice and bake for 12 more minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
- When completely cool, whisk the confectioner's sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice until smooth.
- Drizzle over cooled biscotti or dunk the tops into the glaze. Sprinkle iced biscotti with extra poppy seeds if desired. Allow the glaze to set and harden before serving or storing.
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