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Food
Larry Lagatutta's Biscotti

This is the recipe that produces the same cookie Larry's grandmother used to bake -- actually twice-bake -- back in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon anise seeds

To toast almonds, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes. Leave the oven on, but remove the almonds and set aside to cool, then roughly chop.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl until fluffy, then beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, mix until combined, then stir in chopped almonds and anise seeds. Dough will be stiff.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, then, using your hands or a rolling pin, shape into one long roll, about 3 inches by 13 inches. Handle as little as possible.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (shiny side up). Transfer dough roll to baking sheet, flatten slightly, then bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven -- do not turn oven off -- and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut roll, on the diagonal, into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place slices flat on baking sheet and bake, turning once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.

Do not overbake. Biscotti will feel soft in the middle but will become crisp and hard as they cool. Allow to cool completely on pan.

Biscotti will keep in a sealed container for up to 4 weeks.

Notes: If the biscotti crumble a bit when you slice them between bakings, save the crumbs -- they make delicious toppings for ice cream and yogurt.

Thursday, November 01, 2001

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