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Almond Biscotti



I love this cookie; I make it as a gift for friends and relatives nearly every Christmas. Crunchy, fragrant with almonds, it is the perfect cookie to be paired with a creamy cup of coffee (perhaps a spiked adult coffee?) on a cold weekend morning. Best of all, you can make a big batch of these cookies and freeze them; they thaw perfectly and taste just as good as they do freshly baked.

I love the flavor of almonds; my favorite way to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate is to add a drop of almond extract to the mug. Better still is to dip one of these cookies into a steaming cocoa-y mug. I prefer these cookies as they are, but if you want to up the ante, feel free to dip one half of the cookie into melted milk or dark chocolate. 

Biscotti translates directly to “twice-baked;” these cookies are first baked in a large rectangle then sliced and baked again, resulting in their delightedly dry, crunchy texture. 

These cookies make a great gift; they keep for a long time, freeze and travel well and look beautiful presented in a festive bag or jar. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups of toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
4 eggs
2/3 cup softened butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Method:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated between additions. Add the vanilla bean paste and almond extract and beat until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated, the fold in the almonds.

Dump the dough onto a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions; shape them into logs 10 inches by 2 inches. Place the logs onto the baking sheets, allowing them to be 4 inches apart and lightly flatten them.

Bake the logs for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating halfway through, until they are golden brown and firm in the center. Let them cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheets, then transfer onto a cutting board.
Using a sharp knife, slice the logs on a diagonal to a 3/4 inch thickness. Lay the cookies on the baking sheets, cut side down. Return to the oven and bake a further 7 minutes, then flip them over and bake them another 7 minutes more.


Remove from the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

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