Croquant d’Amandes means “crunchy almonds” and that certainly describes the texture of these crisp, biscotti-like cookies from Chad Robertson’s Tartine Book No. 3. The unusual inclusion of dried hibiscus flowers makes these unlike any other biscotti you have had and they are well worth searching it out. Read the recipe through as there might be a few unusual ingredients to gather. For another cookie from Chad, check out the Chamomile-Kamut Shortbread.
Excerpted from Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole, by Chad Robertson, Chronicle Books (2013). Photography by Chad Robertson.
Liz made these bisquits years ago when we lived next to the bakery in Point Reyes. We baked in a wood-fired oven, and twice a week we’d drive our bread and pastries to sell at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market. Originally flavored with dried lavender, a holdover from our time spent baking in Provence, I wanted something less sweet and less perfumed but held on to the notion of flower petals. Here, the tart crimson hibiscus blossoms sharpen the flavor of these thin, crisp almond wafers.
- 250 g/5 large eggs
- 1 ¼ t plus pinch of fine sea salt
- 163 g/3⁄4 cup honey
- 163 g/3⁄4 cup plus 1 T granulated sugar
- 234 g/1 2⁄3 cups whole-grain spelt flour
- 234 g/1 2⁄3 cups whole-grain Kamut flour
- 425 g/3 cups skin-on raw almonds
- 57 g/1/2 cup whole dried hibiscus flowers, roughly chopped (available at health food stores or Mexican markets)
- Zest of 3 or 4 bergamots or a mix of lemon and orange zest (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 200 g/4 of the eggs and 1 ¼ teaspoons of the salt on medium speed. Slowly add the honey and sugar. When all of the sugar has been incorporated, turn the speed to high and beat for 5 to 8 minutes, until the mixture falls from the beater in ribbons.
- Turn the mixer off and switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add both flours in two additions, followed by the almonds, hibiscus flowers, and bergamot zest; mix until just combined.
- Moisten your hands with a little water to keep the dough from sticking to them. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, form the dough into two logs, each approximately 3 in/7.5 cm wide, 16 in/40 cm long, and 1 in/2.5 cm tall, spacing the logs 3 in/7.5 cm apart.
- In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 50 g/1 egg with the remaining pinch of salt then brush the egg wash over the surface of both logs.
- Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the baking sheet, then bake an additional 10 minutes, until the logs are golden brown. Transfer the logs to a cooling rack and let cool. With a serrated knife, cut into 1⁄8-in/4-mm slices, then lay the slices on two parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake the sliced cookies for 6 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. Let cool. The cookies will keep for 1 to 2 weeks in an airtight container.