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Holiday Feature

 

Chocolate Chip and Almond Biscotti

About 40 biscotti

 

Irresistible. Awesome. With a huge, tremendous (there can't be too much of a good thing) amount of chocolate chips. Chocolate chips never had it so good.

 

6 ounces (1-1/4 cups) whole blanched (skinned) almonds
2 cups sifted unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
12 ounces (2 cups) semisweet chocolate morsels
2 eggs graded "large"
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whiskey or brandy

 

First toast the almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the pan a few times, until the almonds are lightly colored and have a delicious smell of toasted almonds when you open the oven door. Set aside to cool.

Adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 375 degrees. If possible, use cookie sheets without raised edges; otherwise use any sheets upside down. Line the sheets with baking parchment or aluminum foil, shiny side up, and set aside.

Sift together into a large bowl (preferably one with flared rather than straight sides) the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the sugar and stir to mix.

Place about 1/2 cup of these dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade. Add about 1/2 cup of the toasted almonds and process for about 30 seconds, until the nuts are fine and powdery.

Add the processed mixture to the sifted ingredients in the large bowl. Add the remaining toasted almonds and the chocolate morsels; stir to mix.

In a small bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla and whiskey or brandy, just to mix.

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened (I stir with a large rubber spatula). Be patient.

Place a length of baking parchment or wax paper on the counter next to the sink. Turn the dough out onto the parchment or wax paper. Wet your hands with cold water—do not dry them—and press the dough into a round mound.

With a long, heavy, sharp knife cut the dough into equal quarters.

Continue to wet your hands as you form each piece of dough into a strip about 9 inches long, 2 to 2-1/2 inches wide, and about 1/2 inch high (you will press, not roll, the dough into shape). The ends of the strips should be rounded rather than squared.

Place two strips crosswise on each of the lined sheets.

Bake for 25 minutes, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back once during baking.

Remove the sheets from the oven and slide the parchment or foil off the sheets. With a wide metal spatula transfer the baked strips to a large cutting board and let them cool for 20 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees.

With a serrated French bread knife, carefully cut on a sharp angle into slices about 1/2 inches wide. This is tricky. Cut slowly with a sawing motion.

Place the slices, cut side down, on the two unlined sheets.

Bake the two sheets, turning the slices upside down (ouch—they're hot) and reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back once during baking.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (depending on the thickness of the biscotti).

Turn the oven heat off, open the oven door, and let the biscotti cool in the oven.

When cool, store in an airtight container.

 

From:

Maida Heatter's Brand New
Book of Great Cookies

by Maida Heatter
Random House
$25.00/hardcover
Recipe reprinted by permission.

 

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This page created December 1998; modified November 2006


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