February 17, 2014

Almond Biscotti



Biscotti are a wonderful cookie that I discovered biscotti later in life.  I missed the whole craze in the 90s of the low fat cookie when many of my girlfriends were enrolled in weight programs and raving about these great treats. When I tried them, they seemed so hard and that maybe my teeth might break biting into them.   But, now I understand why they are so delightful.  I do like the crunchy texture and lightly sweetened cookie.  Add nuts and dried fruit and it almost feels like a healthy treat that tastes even better dunked into your tea or cappuccino.  Regulate your crunchy level by adjusting the second cooking time.

Almond Biscotti
makes 36 cookies
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
¾ cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped to your taste
Zest of 1 large orange 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
Toast the almonds for about 7 minutes.  Let them cool and then  chop them.  Set aside. 
Sift together the salt, flour, and baking powder in a small bowl. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and smooth (about 3 minutes).  
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between.  
Mix in the extracts.  
At the slowest speed, add the almonds and zest, mixing only until just combined.  
Mix on low speed in the dry ingredients until just combined . 
Transfer the dough to a cutting board and with well-floured hands, shape the dough into a ball and divide in halves.  Shape each portion into a 13 x 2 inch log.  Place them a few inches from each other on a Silpat-lined (or parchment) cookie sheet. 
Bake for about 35 minutes until golden and beginning the tops begin to crack, turning the pan once during baking. 
Lower oven temperature to 325 degree Fahrenheit.
Allow the loaves to cool for about 10 minutes after baking.
Slice each loaf on a slight diagonal into about ½ inch slices
Place them back on the cookie sheet, cut side up, bake the cookies for 9 more minutes.  Flipping them half way through.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.


flowering ornamental pear


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