Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Delicious Biscotti that Won't Break Your Teeth

You should make Smitten Kitchen's almond biscotti. One recipe yields three dozen so bring some over to your friend's place and you'll still have leftovers to enjoy with coffee in the morning. A pet peeve of mine is biting into a twice-baked Italian cookie and wondering whether you cracked a tooth. That will not happen here. Deb's version, a riff on an old Bon Appetit recipe, is slightly chewy, crumbly, and wonderfully almond-y. 

You will need to own or buy: 
  • 3 1/4 c all purpose flour (406 g)
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder (Use aluminum-free baking powder for better flavor.)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c sugar (375 g)
  • 10 Tbs. butter, melted (This is 1 1/4 sticks, or 142 g.)
  • 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg white for egg wash
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract*
  • 1 Tbs. orange liqueur (I used Cointreau, which comes in little bottles.)
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 c sliced or chopped almonds, lightly toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, vanilla extract, orange liqueur, and orange zest. 
  4. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Mix to combine with a wooden spoon. Add toasted almonds. Mix well to incorporate.
  5. Divide the batter in half (precision isn't too important). Using floured hands, shape each half into a long even log that extends the length of your baking sheet, leaving an inch or two between the two logs. 
  6. Whisk egg white in a small bowl until foamy. Brush logs (on all 3 exposed sides) with egg foam. 
  7. Bake logs until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool 30 minutes. 
  8. Transfer logs to cutting surface. Using serrated bread knife, cut logs diagonally, into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on your baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Turn biscotti and bake on other side until just beginning to color, about another 8 minutes. 
  9. Allow to cool completely before storing in airtight container.
*By mistake, I recently bought "vanilla paste" instead of vanilla extract. This paste can be used in place of vanilla extract with better results. Vanilla paste packs richer, purer vanilla bean flavor. Worth trying if you see it.

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