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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Almond-Orange Biscotti

The weekend plan to toil away the whole Saturday was foiled due to an incorrect interpretation of the weather forecast (didn't know "occasional rain" meant "rain at most times of the day"). So it was pretty much a day of finishing off chores and a nice little window to bake some treats.

Seeking for some inspiration, I turn to some of the food related blogs that I read through (like this) and there it was, a biscotti. Biscotti (meaning "twice baked") is an Italian biscuit, quite hard and dry, and is really baked twice (hence the name). I haven't made one before so no harm trying this one out!

I followed the recipe from this site except that I decreased the sugar by 1/4 cup, and I did not measure the orange zest, just added all the zest from one orange, baked at 165C all the time, didn't have the patience to let the thing cool completely before cutting it, and added a handful of chopped peanuts because the stash of almonds I had was not enough to my liking!

The kitchen smelled heavenly, and this recipe will definitely be repeated!

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
zest of 1 orange
1 cup whole almonds
handful of chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 165C. Line baking sheet with parchment.
Chop the almonds (I used a mezzaluna).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another, combine the eggs and sugar and beat by hand until light in color. Add the extracts, zest, nuts and flour mixture.

On a lightly floured board, divide the dough into two pieces. Shape each piece into a long, flat slab the length of the sheet pan, set about two inches apart.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the loaves are golden and slightly cracked. You're supposed to cool completely on a rack (but I didn't!!!). Slice the biscotti intodesired sizes with a serrated knife, lay them out on sheet pans with cut side up, and bake another 20 minutes, until crisp and dried up.

It's not meant to be browned after the second baking session.

Serve with coffee or tea, for a lazy rainy afternoon - a perfect accompaniment with a book - Stephanie Meyer's Twilight - both book and biscotti were demolished in one sitting!


geovanni Sunday, August 30, 2009 5:49:00 PM  

wow... this must be yummy...

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