I have been very fortunate to have a lemon tree or two every place I have lived. It is such a convenience to walk out the door and pick a fresh lemon to squeeze over a salad, add to chicken picatta or simply plop a slice in a glass of Pelligrino. A couple of winters ago we had a deep freeze … yes in the desert, I couldn’t believe it either. It looked like my lemon tree along with the geraniums were casualties of Mother Nature. The tree that was producing lots and lots of lemons twice a year (my neighbors loved me) looked worse than the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. I refused to let it be cut down. (You have to have faith). Slowly she came back. There was no fruit the first year, just green leaves, but the very next year my beautiful luscious lemons were back. I will never take them for granted again!. Nothing says “sunshine” in the kitchen like a lemon. On a cold winters day the fragrance of these lemon biscotti will lift your spirits even before you take a bite.
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon Marsala
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 ounces hazelnuts, toasted
- Place hazelnuts on baking tray in 350* oven for 5 minutes. Toasting the nuts really brings out the flavor, so don’t bypass this step.
- Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add Marsala and lemon zest, mix well.
- Stir flour, salt and baking powder together, add to butter mixture.
- Medium chop the cooled hazelnuts, add to dough.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour, or overnight.
- On parchment-lined cookie sheet, take half the dough and shape into a two logs (12in.x2in.) Flatten slightly. (For a visual look at the technique involved for making these or any other kind of biscotti, refer to the Anise Biscotti recipe).
- Bake in 350* oven on the middle rack 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Remove and cool on cookie sheet. Carefully place log on cutting board and using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange close together back on cookie sheet, bake for an additional 15 minutes until barely golden.