2 1/2 cups flour (I've used all-purpose or bread flour with success)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar (I've done some batches using 1/2&1/2 brown/white sugar)
1/2 cup butter, rm. temp.
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract ( I also add vanilla, substitute almond for anise oil or any other flavour you wish to try)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, I love using a baking stone. Combine sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat sugar, eggs, butter and extract together until light and fluffy. It's at this point I like to add my fruits and nuts because the dough is soft enough to accept the add-ins, see ideas below.
With mixer at low speed add the flour mixture, divide dough into 2 or 3 portions. I like to make smaller loaves which yield smaller but many more finished pieces.
Using floured hands, form logs lengthwise directly on the parchment paper, gently flatten top.
Whisk an egg white or use flavoured syrup to brush on the formed loaves. Optional, sprinkle logs with coarse sugar, it looks nice once baked.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes until light golden, remember you will be baking it even more once its cut. Cool.
Slice logs with sharp serrated knife (slice and press down to cut, it keeps the log from breaking apart) and return to baking sheet, laying the pieces on their sides. Bake another 10 minutes, turn biscotti pieces over and bake another 5 minutes (save your fingers and use tongs to turn the biscotti). Turn the oven light on and keep an eye on the biscotti during the last step to make sure you don't brown it too much. If your oven runs hot, take the temperature setting down a little.
Here is the fun part, the fruit, candy and nut additions. My favorite combination of all time is dried cranberry and sliced almonds, following is a list a some ideas to try.
dried cherries and semi-sweet chocolate
dried cocoa powder, spoonful of instant coffee (espresso powder if available) , almonds and white chocolate chips-opt.
anise seed with anise oil extract and almonds
The great thing about biscotti is that with the base recipe, you can add whatever you have on hand without going to great expense, it stores well and everyone thinks you've worked much harder than you really have.