Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nutty Biscotti

Over the weekend I had a hankering to bake, and since we already had three kinds of cookies (more on those later perhaps) and two loaves of bread in the freezer I decided on biscotti. The recipe came from my mother, and I think she got it from Whole Foods, back when the one near us was still called Wellspring. You can use almonds or hazelnuts (or even leave the nuts out), or chocolate chips or whatever strikes your fancy. Climate warning: If you are making biscotti in the summer or anywhere humid, they may never fully harden. They still taste great though!

Biscotti di Prato
2 c. AP flour
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
3 eggs (or 6 egg whites)
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract (orange might be good too)
1- 1 1/2 c. whole hazelnuts or almonds, untoasted

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, sugar and leavenings in small bowl. Whisk together eggs and extracts, then add dry ingredients. Mix to form a stiff and sticky dough. Knead or stir in nuts.

With floured or oiled hands, form dough into two long longs, 1-2 inches in diameter. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes, or until logs are golden and firm. Remove from oven and immediately slide onto a cutting board. Slice on the diagonal into 1 inch-wide pieces.

Spread pieces on baking sheet again and return to oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on racks. They will harden as they cool. Store in an airtight jar and enjoy with coffee or tea.

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