Almond Bread is one of my favourite Christmas sweets. I have been making it for years, to give to friends and family as a special Christmas treat.

The notation on my Almond Bread gift cards reads:
“Serve just one slice with after-dinner coffee or as a delightfully crisp biscuit with ice-cream.”

Almond Bread is a biscuit of Italian origin: biscotto (singular), biscotti (plural). In English, biscotto means “twice cooked”. Almond Bread is cooked twice!

The meringue and flour mixture, to which whole almonds are added, is baked as a loaf, wrapped and stored for a few days for it to mature and soften. Then it is cut into wafer-thin slices and the slices re-baked very slowly. The result is a super-crisp, not-too-sweet, nutty biscuit.

The recipe I use comes from The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook, a recipe book dating from the 1970s. It’s an old book, but still a good one!

Because I like to make 4-6 gift packs of Almond Bread, I always double the recipe. It’s easily doubled, and works just the same.

My beautiful Almond Bread gift-packed. Photo source: Judith Salecich 2015.
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My beautiful Almond Bread gift-packed. Photo source: Judith Salecich 2015.

To gift pack the Almond Bread I use small rectangular disposable plastic storage containers. You can buy these in bulk at the supermarket. Each gift pack, when full, contains about 24 biscuits. Finally, before wrapping the container in red cellophane paper and decorating it with a large bow, I add a little gift card, with a note about the Almond Bread.

Why not give it a try this Christmas? I’m sure your friends and family will love Almond Bread too.

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A special Christmas treat


3 egg whites
½ cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
125 g whole almonds


  1. Beat egg whites until stiff.
  2. Gradually beat in caster sugar until mixture is of good meringue consistency, forming thick peaks.
  3. Fold in (by hand) the sifted flour and whole almonds.
  4. Spread in a very lightly greased and papered 20 cm x 10 cm loaf tin.
  5. Bake at 180 degrees Celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30-40 minutes.
  6. Leave in the tin until completely cold.
  7. Remove from the tin, wrap in aluminium foil and store in a cool place for one or two days.
  8. Using a very sharp knife, cut the loaf into wafer-thin slices.
  9. Place the slices on an oven tray (or two), put into a very slow oven for about 30 minutes to dry out completely. (I check regularly, to make sure the biscuits don’t brown too much).
  10. Serve one or two slices with after dinner coffee or tea, or serve as a delightfully crisp biscuit with ice-cream.

Source: The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook, Edited by Ellen Sinclair, p. 191. Gladesville, Sydney: Golden Press, 1970. 

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Judith Salecich

Writer, researcher, former secondary and tertiary teacher and public servant, wife, mother, grandmother, child of God, photography enthusiast, lover of life, history, food and all things creative.

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