California Central Coast Recipes
Almond Biscotti are a classic Italian baked good. Whether biscotti are biscuits or cookies is debatable, but everyone agrees that they delicious. They should be very crunchy in texture, and maybe even a bit hard. This is no problem since the preferred Italian way to eat biscotti is to dunk them into a glass of Vin Santo or a late harvest wine after dinner. They are equally good with a cup of coffee as a simple dessert or an afternoon snack.
Biscotti literally means "twice baked." First the biscotti are baked as a loaf, and just before completely baked, the loafs are cut diagonally into slices which are then returned to the oven and finished at a reduced baking temperature. This gives biscotti their crunchy texture. Use free range eggs with dark yolks if you can find them to give the biscotti a beautiful golden color.
With a food processor (preferably a heavy duty one since the dough can be quite stiff) the recipe is actually quite easy to make, and you will be amazed at how nice the finished biscotti look and taste.
This recipes makes 40 to 50 biscotti. If placed in a cookie tin they will keep for a very long time.
Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 50 minutes
MAKES 20 SERVINGS.
6 Large eggs , room temperature
2 Egg Yolks , room temperature
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
4 cups All Purpose Flour
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoons Salt
2 cups coarsely chopped roasted Almonds
2 Buttered and floured 15 inch Baking Pans
1 Preheat the oven to 350F
2 In a separate bowl, lightly beat 5 of the eggs, the two egg yolks and the vanilla extract.
3 Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a food processor and pulse a few seconds to mix the ingredients.
4 With the food processor running, gradually add the egg mixture. Allow the food processor to run until the mixture appears pebbly and beginning to form a ball. When pressed, it will be a bit sticky, but will hold its shape.
5 Turn the mixture out into on a floured surface (or into a large bowl if you prefer) and knead in the chopped almonds. Knead just enough to evenly distribute the nuts.
6 Divide the dough into 4 even pieces. Roll each piece into a 2 inch diameter log.
7 Place two logs side by side and at least 2 inches apart on each buttered and floured baking pan. The logs will expand during cooking so leave space on all sides.
8 Beat the remaining egg and brush the tops of the loaves with the beaten egg.
9 Place the pans into the preheated 350F oven and bake the loaves for 35 minutes.
10 Reduce the oven temperature to 325F and remove the loaves from the oven.
11 Diagonally slice each loaf into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices cut side up on the pan, and return to the oven to bake for another 15 minutes.
12 When done, remove the finished biscotti from the pans and cool on racks.
These biscotti are made to serve with Vin Santo after dinner. If you cannot find a Vin Santo, any sweet dessert wine like a late harvest white --Sauvginon Blanc, or a late harvest red --Zinfandel will work quite well with the almond and vanilla flavoring.
We personally like them with a cup of coffee after dinner for a lighter finish.