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.
Why not give it a try this Christmas? I’m sure your friends and family will love Almond Bread too.
A special Christmas treat
3 egg whites
½ cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
125 g whole almonds
- Beat egg whites until stiff.
- Gradually beat in caster sugar until mixture is of good meringue consistency, forming thick peaks.
- Fold in (by hand) the sifted flour and whole almonds.
- Spread in a very lightly greased and papered 20 cm x 10 cm loaf tin.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30-40 minutes.
- Leave in the tin until completely cold.
- Remove from the tin, wrap in aluminium foil and store in a cool place for one or two days.
- Using a very sharp knife, cut the loaf into wafer-thin slices.
- 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).
- 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.