My phone chirped and the text from my friend read "got some free time this morning, are you home? I'd love to drop round for coffee". Fantastic, I replied and then realised that I didn't have anything to offer to eat with the coffee, I'd been stuck at home all week due to a balance disorder and couldn't drive. Raking about the cupboards I discovered some semi dried apricots and almonds - and inspired by a beautiful Australian friend of mine who is an amazing baker and always makes her own biscotti I decided to give them a go. They turned out a bit burnt on the edges (probably down to my Aga being hot in the morning) but are absolutely delicious, and I got them made in time for me and my friend to have with our coffee.
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup flaked almonds
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
2 eggs beaten
Mix the dry ingredients together, then slowly blend in the eggs until you get a sticky wet(ish!) dough. Turn the dough out onto some floured parchment paper on a large (I use the large Aga roasting tin) baking tray. Shape it roughly into a large sausage shape (if you would rather have daintier biscotti you could split the dough into two log shapes and follow the rest of the recipe as normal) - bake for about 20/25 minutes in the bottom of the top oven of the Aga (around 180oC) in the Aga you may need to put the cold plain shelf above it (depends on how hot your Aga is).
Once baked, remove from the oven and then allow to cool. Using a very sharp knife, slice the huge biscuit loaf into thin strips (about 5 mm thick?) - then spread the now sliced biscuits out on a baking tray (I needed to use another tray too!) and bake for 20 minutes, this time in the top of the bottom oven of the Aga (140oC?) turn them half way through cooking and ensure that they are drying out nicely. Once baked remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Absolutely delicious - especially dunked in a lovely cup of coffee.
*please note that I have a traditional two oven Aga, not one with a special baking oven. Each oven varies so the temperatures I've given may need to be adjusted.
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