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Amazing “Double-Almond” Biscotti

These “amazing” biscotti are rustic looking and just loaded with the sultry taste, aroma and texture of toasted almonds; but not just any almonds. If you’ve never tried Marcona almonds, from Spain , you’re in for a treat. They’re flatter than the regular almonds and they’ve been skinned, toasted and sprinkled with sea salt. You’ll find them in well-stocked food shops that cater to those that know good food when they taste it!

Special Equipment:

Electric mixer (optional)
Cushioned cookie sheets
Parchment paper

For the cookie dough:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter , melted
  • 3 extra-large eggs, made tepid by submerging them, in their shells, in a bowl of hot tap water for 10 minutes
  • 3 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped Spanish “Marcona” almonds (purchase those that are whole and are toasted with safflower oil and sea salt, before chopping), plus more for the topping
  • Powdered sugar, as needed, for shaping the raw cookie dough

For the topping:

  • 2 cups finely chopped Marcona almonds
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. To make the cookie dough and chill: Melt the butter and let cool until just warm. Meanwhile, submerge the whole eggs (in their shell) into a bowl of hot tap water and let sit, undistur bed, while you move on. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Pour the melted butter into the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or pour into a mixing bowl). Add the sugar, eggs and extracts and combine well (if using an electric mixer, try not to incorporate too much air into the mixture, so only use a mode rate setting). Add the flour mixture and coarsely chopped nuts and mix, on low; until cohesive dough forms (the cookie dough will be somewhat soft). Cover the bowl and chill for 1 to 2 hours.

2. To bake : Preheat the oven to 350 and line two baking sheets, prefer ably cushioned cookie sheets, with parchment paper. If working with a double oven, have the racks on the center shelf. If using one oven, have the racks positioned in the upper and lower third shelves. Sprinkle your work surface with some powdered sugar and divide the chilled cookie batter in half. One at a time, lightly knead each half, shaping them into long logs. Place the log onto the parchment lined baking sheets and correct their shape, using your hands (sugar your hands, if the dough ever sticks). Do this with the second half of dough. Bake the logs of cookie dough in the preheated oven fo r 25 minutes. (If baking two sheets in one oven, switch their shelf position after half the baking time.)

3. To make the topping : While the logs bake, mix the 2 cups of finely chopped nuts with the corn syrup, milk and vanilla. Set this aside, until the logs come out of the oven.

4. To cut the logs and bake again : Remove the baking sheets from the oven and place them on wire coolingr acks for 5 to 10 minutes (do not turn off the oven). Slip 2 long off-set turning spatulas under each end of the cookie log and transfer this to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice each log into ½-inch thick slices, on the diagonal, and place them, flat side down, on their baking sheets (divide them evenly). Place the sheets back into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the sheets and turn each slice over and bake again for 5 minutes.

3. To apply the topping : Remove the sheets from the oven and spoon (and spread) some of the topping on top of the exposed flat side of each cookie. Try to evenly distribute the topping, although they won’t be evenly spread out. Place the sheet(s) into the oven and turn the heat down to 325F. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn off the oven(s) and allow the cookies to stay there, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. Remove the sheets to wire racks to cool for a few minutes, before removing the cookies from their sheets, to cool completely on racks, before serving or storing in an air tight tin, at room temperature.


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At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

For the cookie dough:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 extra-large eggs, made tepid by submerging them, in their shells, in a bowl of hot tap water for 10 minutes
  • 3 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped Spanish “Marcona” almonds (purchase those that are whole and are toasted with safflower oil and sea salt, before chopping), plus more for the topping
  • Powdered sugar, as needed, for shaping the raw cookie dough

For the topping:

  • 2 cups finely chopped Marcona almonds
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Fine table salt
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Pure almond extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Light corn syrup

From the dairy case:

  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Eggs (extra-large)

From the specialty store:

  • Skinned Marcona almonds (that are toasted in oil and seasoned with salt)
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