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Real Italian biscotti

Posted by Sheryl Julian  December 21, 2009 12:25 PM

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Americans have turned biscotti into a softer, richer, cakier cookie than it's supposed to be. Real biscotti (and all of the twice-baked cookies) contain no fat besides eggs. They're meant to be hard so you can dip them into sweet wine.

I made lots yesterday for Christmas gifts from a recipe in "Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations," a book from The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center that I've been cooking from for a few weeks. Biscotti are wonderful cookies and they look magnificent, especially cut on an extreme angle, but they're not easy. If you don't have a really good serrated knife, the edges of the logs shatter when you cut them. Save those for the baker to eat in private. 

Almond biscotti
Makes about 4 dozen

2 cups raw almonds
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Spread the nuts in a baking dish and toast them for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are fragrant; set aside to cool.
3. In a bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder.
4. In an electric mixer, beat the eggs until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is thick and pale. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, beat in the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. With a large metal spoon, stir in the almonds.
5. Spoon the batter into 4 logs, each about 12-inches long, making 2 logs on each sheet. With a long metal palette knife dipped into cold water, smooth the tops and sides of the logs and make them even.
6. Bake the logs for 25 to 30 minutes or until they are firm but not golden. Remove from the oven (leave the oven on) and set aside for 20 minutes or until cool.
7. Transfer a log to a cutting board. Cut into 1/2-inch slices on an extreme angle. Set the biscotti cut sides up on the baking sheet. Cut the remaining logs in the same way and set them on the sheets.
8. Bake the biscotti for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Adapted from "Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations"
About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.

Contributors

Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.
 

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