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Michele's Spiced Almond Biscotti



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Almond Branches in Bloom, San Remy, c.1890
Almond Branches in Bloom, San Remy, c.1890
Vincent van Gogh
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La Belle Cuisine


Michele's Spiced Almond Biscotti

Makes 4 to 5 dozen

 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
2 tablespoons minced orange zest
3/4 cup whole almonds with skins, toasted,
cooled and chopped coarse

 In a small bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, white pepper, ground cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Whisk the sugar and eggs to
a light lemon color; stir in extracts, orange zest and almonds. Sift the dry
ingredients over the egg mixture, then fold in until dough is just combined.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Halve dough and turn each portion onto an oiled cookie sheet covered with parchment.  Using floured hands, quickly stretch each portion of dough into
a rough 13-by-2-inch log, placing them about 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Pat each dough shape to smooth it. Bake, turning pan once, until the
loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes.
Cool the loaves for 10 minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Cut each loaf diagonally into
3/8-inch slices with a serrated knife. Lay the slices about 1/2 inch apart on
the cookie sheet, cut side up, and return them to the oven. Bake, turning
over each cookie halfway through baking, until crisp and golden brown
on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer biscotti to wire rack and cool
completely. Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for at least
one month.

Variations:  Macerate 3/4 cup currants, chopped raisins, or dates in 1/4 cup
brandy or Marsala for at least 1 hour. Drain and fold into the dough along
with extracts, adding a teaspoon or so of the macerating liquid to the dough.

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