Thursday, September 30, 2010

Almond Biscotti

I used to think biscotti was a waste of time and calories.  I'd have a nibble if it came free with my cup of coffee, but I'd never purchase or bake it on my own accord.  When I saw this recipe I was compelled to try it because it brought up memories that I just can't shake, of some Italian orange/almond cookies I had once from a bakery in Toronto.  I thought about those cookies for a year after trying them and searched the internet for a clue as to what they were with no promising results.  This recipe had the flavours I longed for, it had great reviews and they were Italian to boot.  I had to give them a go.  And boy, I'm glad I did...and so were my coworkers.  The flavour is so satisfying with a crunchy crumbly texture..they are pretty special cookies.

Almond Biscotti
Origin: Smitten Kitchen (adapted from this recipe)

Notes:  These cookies should keep well for at least a week in an airtight container.  Despite the double bake time, these cookies were easy to make and came together quickly with amazing results.


3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped or sliced almonds (I used sliced)
1 large egg white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center position.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl, mix together sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, vanilla extract, orange liqueur and zest.  Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended.  Mix in almonds.

Divide the dough in half.  Using floured hands, shape each dough half into 13 1/2-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide logs. Transfer logs to the prepared baking sheet spaced apart. Whisk egg white in small bowl until foamy and brush over top and sides of each dough log.

Bake logs for about 30 minutes, until golden brown (logs will spread).  Place baking sheet on a cooling rack and cool logs completely, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Transfer logs to work surface and discard the parchment paper.  Using a serrated knife, cut logs on a diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on the same baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes. Turn biscotti over, continue to bake until just beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.

Makes about 3 dozen.

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