Monday, January 17, 2011

Almond Biscotti!

This should have raisins in it, but I decided that that was unnecessary. The recipe's from the Williams-Sonoma Simple Classics Cookbook, with a couple of adaptations of my own, the most important being the afore-mentioned lack of raisins.

You will need:

1 cup almonds
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp aniseeds, lightly crushed

1/4 cup butter
1/2 granulated sugar
1/4 brown sugar, firmly packed

2 eggs

2 tsp almond extract
zest from one small orange (about 1 tbsp)

1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water, for a quick glaze.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and spread the almonds on a baking sheet. Bake for about ten minutes, until the almonds are well-toasted. Unfortunately, I can't tell any difference between the almonds before and after, so... ten minutes. Yes. Let cool and chop coarsely. I didn't.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and aniseeds.

Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and both sugars for about five minutes, until "light." Make sure you don't use butter straight out of the fridge. It's annoying.

Add the eggs one at a time.

Beat in the almond extract and orange zest.

Gradually beat in the flour mixture until combined. When I did this it didn't look like dough at all; it was way too pebbly. But once you get your hands in there it all comes together again. Hands, you say? When does that happen? NOW!

Add the almonds and knead them in with your hands. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, and knead a little bit more. Divide the dough in half and form into two logs, like so (my eye-balled halves were NOT equal, but it didn't really matter). Place on a greased and floured surface, brush with the egg mixture, and pop them in oven until they're lightly browned, 20-25 minutes.
Let cool for five minutes. THEN! The fun part! Using a serrated knife (it's easier with the almonds), cut the logs on a diagonal cross into 1-inch slices. Maybe a little bit more diagonal than I've done here. Place the slices upright on the baking sheet and stick back in the oven for 15 minutes.
Turn off the oven and open the oven door about two inches, and let cool IN THE OVEN for 30 minutes.

Now you're supposed to let them cool until they're dry and crisp, but I've never been able to do that. And they DO dunk perfectly.

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