Monday, August 13, 2012

Almond Biscotti

Yes, I love baking.  In my other life I was a pastry chef I think, I'd love to be the baker for my friend Kristy's coffee shop (whenever she opens her dream shop up!).  It'd be perfection! But I digress.

No, I don't always love cookies but I do like something mildly sweet after dinner.  Which is why I love biscotti, they're somewhere in between a cookie and a sweet bread.  They're perfect.  I tried 2 recipe's and each needed a lot of tweaks (way too sweet for my taste, but would have made a great cookie. And too dense), so I combined them and it was really really good. So I'm sharing another baking recipe.  What can I say?  

Almond Biscotti

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup blanched, slivered almonds (toasted and coarsely chopped)

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugars until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and blend again.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the toasted, chopped almonds. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and blend on low-speed until just combined.

Remove the dough from the mixer and divide into three equal portions. Plop one portion onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Form into a rectangle about an inch high. Repeat with remaining 2 logs, leaving a space of about 2 inches between each (I used 2 baking sheets).  Chill for an hour (I chilled overnight, it's just easier for me with the little man). 

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the logs are evenly golden brown. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully transfer logs to a cutting board. Cut slices of about 3/4 - 1 inch thick, depending on your preference. Lay the cut slices on their sides on the baking sheet. Return pan to the oven for another 5-7 minutes. Remove pan from oven, flip biscotti over, and return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the biscotti cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooking rack. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Note: I also melted some dark chocolate and a teaspoon of grated orange zest in a double boiler and dipped the top half in the chocolate. Then put them back on the  baking sheet to cool in the fridge until hardened.  Divine.  Also, I divided the dough into 3 sections because I don't like my biscotti too big, but if you like them larger just make 2 rectangles instead of my 3. It's totally personal preference.
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