Monday, November 29, 2004

Almond Biscotti

Always requested by the licorice lovers in the family. Personally I prefer chocolate with hazelnuts, but that's just me.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup slivered almonds
2 large eggs, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure anise flavoring (or vanilla)

1. Adjust a rack to the center position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nuts in a large bowl and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, butter and anise or vanilla and whisk to fully combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix to combine until a rough dough forms.

2. Dump the dough onto a work surface and knead a couple of times or until the dough comes together, adding extra flour sparingly and only if necessary. Start to form the dough into a big, fat cigar and cut it in half. Form each half into a cigar about 1 inch thick, 2 inches wide and about 12 inches long. Place them onto the cookie sheet and lightly press with your fingers to slightly flatten the cigars.

3. Bake for 25 minutes reversing the pan halfway through. The bars (cigars) will be firm to the touch and just slightly browned. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 300 degrees. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes.

4. Remove cookies to a cutting board using two spatulas. Using a serrated knife, slice the bars on an angle about 1/2 inch thick to form the biscotti. Lay them back on the cookie sheet with either cut side down and place back in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn each cookie to expose the other cut side and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes. The cookies will take on the slightest bit of color and feel firm and dry. Let cool on a rack to room temperature. Store in an airtight container.