Saturday, February 21, 2009

almond biscotti

Biscotti" in Italian is the plural form of biscotto, which applies to any type of biscuit, and it defined biscuits as baked twice in the oven, so they could be stored for long periods of time, which was particularly useful during journeys and wars.

Some people find these twice-baked biscuits painfully crunchy. But that's the point - so that you can dip them into a sweet dessert wine, an espresso coffee, or a liqueur glass of Nocello or Frangelico to soften them before eating.
Store in an airtight container, where they will last for weeks, if not months.
this recipe makes about 40 biscuits.

what you need
100 g whole almonds
250 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
250 g caster sugar
pinch of salt
half tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 extra egg yolk

what to do
Heat oven to 180C. Toast the almonds in a hot, dry pan until they smell sweet and nutty, then cool and roughly chop. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk in a food processor and blend until the mixture leaves the sides and form a ball.
Turn out onto a lightly floured bench, scatter with the almonds, and knead for a minute or two to mix them through (add a little extra flour if need be).
Divide the dough in two and pat it out into log shapes about 25 cm long and 5 cm (10 in x 2 in) wide. Line a baking tray with lightly buttered greaseproof paper, and place the logs on it with room for spreading to each side.

Bake for around 25 minutes until they are lightly coloured and firm to the touch. Remove the tray while you reduce the oven temperature to 140C/Gas 1. Cut the logs on the diagonal into 2 cm slices, lay them cut side down on the tray and return to the oven for about 12 minutes, without allowing them to colour. You will have to do this in two batches.
Let the biscuits cool on the tray, then store in an airtight container.
Serve with an espresso or a glass of sweet dessert wine or liqueur like frangelico for dipping in.
Why not try replacing the almonds with other nuts, crunchy noughat or even drid apricot pieces

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