Sunday, 28 August 2011

Almond Biscotti

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When I was asked a few weeks ago if I wanted to review a copy of Stacy Adimando's 'The Cookiepedia' I didn't really have to think twice before saying 'yes, please'. If you like cookies, or biscuits as they are called in the UK, you will like this book. Nothing but biscuit recipes, from the simple to the fancy (and one recipe for brownies, which in my opinion are not really a biscuit, but I guess they aren't really cake either, so I'll overlook that).

The book has a really nice layout and design, with good photographs and lovely illustrations, as well as easy to follow instructions, and plenty of space for your own annotations. Measurements are given in cups and Fahrenheit, so I guess it was initially aimed at the American market (hence the title!). There are easily accessible conversion tables in the front and back cover to help if you're not familiar with American measurements though. Saying that I think it'd still be easier to get yourself a measuring cup if you haven't already got one (1 cup = 250ml).


I'm invited to my friend Sarah's for dinner tonight and thought it'd be nice to bring a little something along, so chose to make the Almond Biscotti. I hope everyone else will enjoy them as much as I do.

Almond Biscotti (makes 3 dozen)

1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cornmeal
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
4tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

Preaheat your oven to 350F/180C.

Beat together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, working them in one at a time until fully incorporated.

Add the vanilla (or almond extract) and butter, mixing well until the dough begins to form. It will not come together completely. add the almonds and stir to evenly distribute.

Turn the dough out onto a cookie sheet with lightly floured hands. Divide in half and shape into two logs, each about 1 1/2inch thick and 2inches wide. (Leave plenty of room betwen the logs as they will spread whilst baking.)

Bake the biscotti for 20 minutes (this is the first of the two times you'll bake them), rotating the sheet half way through baking. Take it out and let the logs rest for 20 minutes. They'll still be slightly spngy to the touch, kind of like dense bread. Lower the oven temperature to 250F/135C.

After 20 minutes, transfer the logs to a chopping board. Cut them into 1/2-inch slices with a serrated knife. Finally move the slices (cut side up for any ends) back to one sheet and bake for 40 minutes more. the biscotti will still be slightly soft while warm but will harden once they've cooled.