Thursday, December 24, 2009

almond pepper biscotti

This recipe is from the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts, but I have altered it a bit because I didn't have the anise seeds that were originally called for. I have made this recipe a couple of times and this time I drizzled chocolate on the biscotti to make them fancier, but I think it was a mistake. These biscotti are tastier on their own; the chocolate is too much competition for the subtlety of the almond and the spice of the black pepper. You may feel differently! Here's my version.

2/3 cup whole almonds (toasted)
2 eggs
1 egg white
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 ground black pepper
1 cup sugar
2 cups white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

If your almonds are not already toasted, put them on a cookie sheet in one layer and toast in the oven (325 F.) for 10-15 minutes, until they are fragrant. Set them aside to cool.

Beat the eggs and egg white in a large bowl. Stir in almond extract, pepper and sugar. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix until well blended. Coarsely chop the almonds and stir them into the dough. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or oiled) and form two logs that are about 3 inches in diameter. I find the dough to be really sticky and just do my best with my hands or a spatula. The logs will spread quite a bit, so make sure to leave enough room between them.

Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 35-40 minutes. Cool logs on a rack for about 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 325 degrees F. With a sharp knife, slice the logs diagonally crosswise into 1/2" pieces. Place the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheet and bake again for 20-25 minutes, just until lightly browned. The biscotti will become firmer as they cool.

(To make the original recipe, add 1 Tbsp anise seeds along with the sugar etc.)

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