Sunday, December 03, 2006

HOLIDAY GIFT: Almond Biscotti

This year, we are giving a Coffee Basket to all of the Grandparents. It will have two coffee mugs hand decorated by our children. 2 lbs of a good coffee, chocolate spoons and, of course, Almond Biscotti for dipping! Here is a recipe I found for it, that I did a practice run of tonight. Tastes wonderful, will even be better after I dip them in chocolate tomorrow!

1 Cup blanched whole almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 Cups all purpose flour
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool, then chop coarsely. Set asid.

Reduce heat to 300. Place parchment paper on baking sheet. (I did not do this as I used stoneware and it's not necessary - parchment paper here is used to keep the dough from getting "wet" during baking).

In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs and extracts together.

In a large bowl sift in flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. While stirring (or using mixer) gradually add egg mixture until soft dough forms, add almonds about halfway thru. With floured hands, divide dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each half of dough into a 10 X 2 inch log on a lightly floured surface. Place logs onto the prepared baking sheet and bake 35-40 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Remove from pans to a wire cooling rack for 15 minutes.

Move logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated/bread knife, slice dough on the diagonal in 1/2 inch slices. Arrange evenly, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, turn slices over, bake about another 10 minutes. Turn off oven, leaving biscotti there for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.

Once dry, store in an airtight container.

IF DESIRED: Dip in melted chocolate and allow to set on wax paper. (makes them all that much better when you dip them into coffee, tea or cocoa!!!)

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