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Sambuca Almond Biscotti

 

 

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Sambuca Almond Biscotti


Desserts to Die For
By Marcel Desaulniers, 1995, Simon & Schuster

Alibris

Yields 2 dozen biscotti

Ingredients

2 cups whole almonds
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Sambuca

Equipment
Measuring cup, measuring spoons, 2 baking sheets, cook’s knife, cutting board, sifter, wax paper, electric mixer with paddle, rubber spatula, parchment paper, serrated slicer, cooling rack, plastic container with lid

Make the biscotti

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Toast the whole almonds on a baking sheet in the preheated oven until they turn from cinnamon-colored to chestnut-colored, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Use a cook's knife to cut the almonds in half widthwise. Set aside until needed.
Combine together in a sifter 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Sift onto wax paper and set aside.
Place the sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium for an additional 2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on high for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, while beating on medium for 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the bowl after incorporating each addition. Operate the mixer on low while gradually adding the sifted dry ingredients. Once all the dry ingredients have been incorporated, about 30 seconds, turn off the mixer and add the almond pieces and the Sambuca and mix on low for 20 seconds.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing
the batter, until thoroughly combined.
Transfer the biscotti dough to a clean, dry lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and shape each into a log 8 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide, and 1 1/4 inches high, (using the remaining flour as necessary to prevent sticking). Carefully place the 2 logs, about 2 inches apart, onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake
the biscotti logs on the center rack of the preheated oven for 35 minutes,
until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Remove the logs from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the logs
to cool for about 15 minutes at room temperature before handling. Place the biscotti logs onto a cutting board. Using a very sharp serrated slicer, trim the rounded ends from each log. Cut each biscotti log into 1/2-inch diagonal
slices (12 slices per log).  Divide the slices onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake the biscotti slices in the center of the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until crisp and evenly browned. Transfer the biscotti to a cooling rack to thoroughly cool before storing in a sealed plastic container.

The Chef's Touch: At Ristorante Giannino in Milan, I modified the
pleasurable ritual of dipping an almond biscotti into a glass of sweet wine.
My palate was searching for a more intense postprandial than the requisite
Vin Santo
, so I requested a medium-size, bowl-shaped wine glass with a
double measure of Sambuca.  Una delizioza armonia di gusti!
If you are more temperate than I, enjoy the biscotti with a steaming cup
of cappuccino.
Be certain to store the biscotti in a tightly sealed plastic container as soon
as they have cooled to room temperature. They will stay crisp and delicious
stored this way for several days.
For an extra measure of decadence, try drizzling both white and dark
chocolate over the baked biscotti. This indulgence requires 1 ounce each of
chopped semisweet chocolate and white chocolate. First heat 1 inch of water
in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Melt the semisweet chocolate in the top half of a double boiler while stirring constantly with a
rubber spatula. Immediately remove the melted chocolate and transfer it to
a small bowl. Using a teaspoon drizzle a thin stream of melted chocolate in
diagonal zigzags across the width of the biscotti. Then do the same with the
white chocolate. Store the chocolate-striped biscotti in a cool place.


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