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Chef's Corner
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Almond Biscotti

One of my holiday favorites are homemade almond biscotti. They have a rich, complex nutty flavor that you simply cannot match with the store bought variety. Dunked into a morning cup of joe, or enjoyed alongside nice glass of dessert wine they complement both the savory and the sweet.

There are several steps involved in these twice baked delights, but overall the recipe comes together relatively easily. If you prefer a thinner crispier cookie, cut your biscotti in smaller 1/4 inch slices. For a heartier, heavy-duty dunking cookie make your slices slightly thinker. I’ve tried several variations, such as adding chocolate pieces to the dough and drizzling with icing, but in my experience this classic recipe is the best. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cups plus 1 TBSP granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 TBSP cornmeal
1 1/2 TBSP whole aniseed
1 1/2 TSP baking powder
1/8 TSP salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 eggs
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1 TBSP Pernod
(French anise flavored liquor; substitute Sambuca or Annisette if necessary)
1 egg white lightly beaten

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine sugar, flour, almonds, cornmeal, aniseed, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Combine with wooden spoon or on low speed of mixer.

3. Add the butter, and mix on low speed until incorporated.

4. Mix in eggs, vanilla and Pernod until mixture becomes doughy and sticks together.

5. Divide dough in half and flatten to form 2 loaves, 4 x12 inches each.

6. Place loaves on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush evenly with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Rest loaves until cool enough to handle. Cut loaves into 1/4 to 1/3 inch slices depending on preference.

7. Lay sliced cookies on cookie sheet; bake approximately 10 minutes until golden and crisp.

by: Mandy DeCecco
Mandy is a Drexel University graduate and Philly area native. Mandy coordinates marketing, website and promotions for The Philadelphia Catering Company. She is always looking for creative and fresh ideas for home and catering.
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