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Golden Almond Biscotti

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Yields about six dozen 3-inch cookies.

  • To learn more, read:
    Biscotti
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 54

Do the first bake and then finish the cookies as your schedule permits. Half-baked biscotti can sit as long as overnight.

  • 2 cups whole skin-on almonds
  • 20 oz. (4-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar (also sold as Sugar in the Raw in supermarkets)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely grated orange zest (from 3 to 4 oranges)
  • 2 tsp. anise seeds, crushed
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, well-chilled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup strained fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
For the glaze:
  • 2 egg whites, beaten until slightly foamy
  • 6 Tbs. turbinado sugar
Mix the dough.

Position oven racks in the middle and top of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°F. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet until the skins just start to crack, about 15 min. Spread them on a cutting board to cool. Roughly chop them (each nut should only be cut into two or three pieces; it’s easier to chop them evenly if you work in small mounds). With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the turbinado sugar, granulated sugar, orange zest, and anise seeds until well combined. Add this mixture to the flour mixture; mix to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the chilled butter, mixing until the pieces are the size of large peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, orange juice, vanilla extract, and almond extract and add to the dough, mixing until just combined and being careful not to overmix. Add the almonds and mix for a few seconds to blend. The dough will feel sticky. Let it rest for 15 to 30 min. before shaping.

Shape the dough and do the initial baking.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment. Cut the dough into quarters. Using as little flour as possible on your work surface, roll each quarter into a log that’s 13 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide, working out the air pockets as you go. (If you’re working ahead, wrap the logs in plastic and refrigerate them overnight.) Set the logs on the lined baking sheets, about 3 inches apart, patting the sides to straighten and smooth. Brush the tops and sides with the beaten egg whites and sprinkle the tops with 2 Tbs. of the turbinado sugar. Bake until golden brown and firm in the center, about 35 min., rotating the sheets and switching their positions to ensure even baking. Set the sheets on racks until the logs are cool enough to handle and so the dough won’t compress when you cut it, about 30 min.

Bake a second time.

Reduce the oven to 300°F and line the baking sheets with fresh parchment, if needed. With a serrated knife, saw the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices, cutting crosswise. Lay the slices flat on the baking sheets. Brush the tops with more egg white and sprinkle with another 2 Tbs. of the turbinado sugar. Bake about 15 min., rotating the baking sheets and switching their positions as needed. Turn the biscotti over. Brush again with the egg whites and sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbs. turbinado sugar. Bake until both sides are a rich golden brown, another 10 to 15 min. Set the baking sheets on racks to let the cookies cool and crisp completely on the sheets. If stored airtight, the biscotti will keep for about two weeks.

Photo: Amy Albert

A great recipe, it created outstanding biscotti - outstanding amongst a crowd of Christmas cookies, biscotti included.

Well worth the work!

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