Today I talked with Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio, about St. Joseph – his feast is March 19. Here’s some fun facts: In Italy, the feast of St. Joseph is celebrated with a huge feast of food set upon a special altar. Legend says there was a famine in Sicily hundreds of years ago. The people prayed to St. Joseph to help, and he ended the famine, and, in thanksgiving, they held a special feast with a special altar honoring him. Today they still celebrate, and the table is overflowing with an abundance of food
The table is covered with white linens and vigil lights are placed upon it.
The lights are green, brown and deep yellow, and they represent St. Joseph’s clothes.
Almonds are included in many of the desserts served.
The almond tree was and is considered a sacred symbol, and in honor of this, my recipe today is Italian Almond Biscotti. It’s appropriate, too, since St. Joseph is also the patron saint of pastry cooks!
2-1/4 cups flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 to 1 cup coarsely chopped or slivered almonds, toasted if you like (toast before chopping)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon oil
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
Coarse sugar for sprinkling on top (opt)
Preheat oven to 350 and spray cookie sheets. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nuts together. Set aside. Mix eggs, oil, extracts together. Mix with flour mixture until a dough has formed. Dump onto a floured surface. Bless the dough! Divide in half. Shape dough into two flat bottom cylinders, 1” high, 2-1/2” wide and 8” long. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake 30-35 minutes until lightly colored on top. Remove and cool slightly. Cut cylinders diagonally into 3/4” slices. Put back on baking sheet, cut side down, and bake about 10-15 minutes more, until sides are golden and biscotti has dried a bit. Don’t overbake. Remove and cool. Makes about 2 dozen.