With only 8 days remaining in my race-to-the-alter countdown, I'm getting down to baking business in my apartment. The hotel welcome bags are almost complete. In fact, Mom's already taken the candied pecans I made and bagged home. The last thing on my welcome-bag list? Biscotti.

A few months ago, one of my girlfriends made homemade biscotti for a brunch we threw and everyone raved about it, then she let the secret out: biscotti is easy to make! The basic ingredients are flour, eggs, butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, & vanilla. That's it! Then I added chocolate chips and chopped walnuts to mine.

The only thing about biscotti is that it takes some time. First you make the simple batter, then you shape it into narrow logs and bake for about 30 minutes. Then you slice it up and let it crisp for 30 more minutes, turning every 10. Basically, it's the perfect recipe to make while bad TV is on at night--you can flip it during commercial breaks!

I'm making biscotti instead of, say, cookies, because while most baked goods need to be 1-2 days fresh, biscotti is already a crisp cookie, so making it ahead of time is super easy. I dropped two pieces of biscotti in a clear treat bag, tied it up with a ribbon, and dropped the whole batch of 89 bags into a big air-tight container, where they'll hang out until I put the bags together on Wednesday.

The best part? Biscotti is another budget-friendly wedding idea and a great do-it-yourself wedding favor or welcome bag treat. It keeps for about 6-8 weeks, or six months if frozen, and costs pennies to make. If I'd ordered the number of pieces I needed online, it would've cost me $234.96, and I still would've needed to purchase the treat bags ($1.99 for 50) and the ribbon ($3 per spool). Instead, I used on-hand items and made a personal treat for my guests for the cost of a bag of chocolate chips and a bag of chopped walnuts, and whatever it will cost to let my dress out after I ate no fewer than 8 pieces. That's what I call smart saving!

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel