25 homemade holiday gift recipes: Mother's biscotti

Biscotti, one of 25 homemade holiday gift ideas from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

These classic cookies, flavored with sliced almonds, will keep for weeks in an airtight container.

Biscotti is just one way to get crafty this holiday season with homemade gifts from the kitchen. We've compiled 25 great ideas, including quick and simple gifts (perfect if you're working with kids) and more intricate projects that call for a little extra time and patience.

Some gifts will last for weeks, perhaps more. Others are best eaten within a day or two.

Not only are homemade gifts a great way to save money during the holiday season, they're a thoughtful and creative way to show how much you care.

MOTHER'S BISCOTTI

Makes about 5 dozen biscotti

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra for work surface and baking pan

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 eggs

3 cups matzo cake meal, about

1 cup whole almonds

1. Beat sugar, salt, oil and vanilla and almond extracts with electric mixer fitted with paddle or by hand until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

2. Add enough matzo cake meal to make soft but manageable dough. Fold in almonds.

3. Spoon dough onto oiled work surface and divide into thirds. Oil hands and shape dough into 3 (15-inch-long) cylinders. Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes.

4. Remove from oven. Increase temperature to 450 degrees. Cut each cylinder diagonally into about 20 slices. Lay slices flat on greased baking sheet and bake 8 to 10 more minutes.

5. Cool biscotti thoroughly before storing in airtight container.

Each of 60 biscotti: 71 calories; 23 mg sodium; 11 mg cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 14 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.14 gram fiber.

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