Step by Step: Almond Biscotti
By the Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Biscotti have taken the cookie world by storm. Originally from the small town of Prato in Tuscany, Italy, biscotti (which literally means "twice cooked") have been transformed into large and long cookies of every flavour - and we are all the luckier for this transformation. Ideal for dunking into coffee, tea or the more traditional vin santo (sweet wine), these nutty cookies contain little fat and few calories. Standing the cookies upright during their second baking ensures that they dry out evenly, giving them their characteristic crunchiness.

Ingredients

1-3/4 cups All-purpose flour 425 mL
2 tsp Baking powder 10 mL
3/4 cup Whole unblanched almonds
175 mL 2 Eggs 2
3/4 cup Granulated sugar 175 mL
1/3 cup Butter, melted 75 mL
2 tsp vanilla 10 mL
1/2 tsp Almond extract 2 mL
1-1/2 tsp Grated orange rind 7 mL
1 Egg white, lightly beaten 1

Variations:

Chocolate Chip Biscotti: Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) chocolate chips to flour mixture.

Double Chocolate Biscotti: Reduce flour to 1-1/2 cups (375 mL). Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) sifted unsweetened cocoa powder to flour. Omit almonds and add 1/2 cup (125 mL) chocolate chips. Dissolve 1 tbsp (15 mL) instant coffee granules in vanilla. Omit almond extract and orange rind.

Hazelnut Biscotti: Substitute 3/4 cup (175 mL) whole hazelnuts for the almonds. Omit almond extract.

1. To measure flour accurately, lightly spoon flour into dry measure, without tapping, until cup is heaping; level off with blunt edge of knife. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and almonds.

2. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and grated orange rind; stir into flour mixture until soft sticky dough forms. Transfer to lightly floured surface; form into smooth ball.

3. Divide dough in half, roll each into 12-inch (30 cm) long log. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet.

4. Brush tops with egg white; bake in 350F (180C) oven for 20 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and let cool on pan on rack for 5 minutes. Transfer each log to cutting board; cut diagonally into 3/4-inch (2 cm) thick slices.

6. Stand cookies upright on baking sheet; bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer or until golden. Transfer to rack and let cool. (Biscotti can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)

Tip: To prevent crumbling when slicing the partially cooked log of dough, use a sharp chef's knife and cut with firm, decisive strokes.

 

Mama Rosa's "Extra-Easy Apple Delight!"

Ingredients:

10 cups sliced, peeled apples
3/4 cup apple juice
3 or 4 tablespoons of sambuca, or kirsh, or fresh lemon juice
2 cups fine oatmeal cookie crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, toss apples with juice and sambuca.

Spread half mixture in 8-inch square baking pan.

Combine cookie crumbs, butter and cinnamon.

Sprinkle half over apples. Repeat layers.

Sprinkle a little brown sugar on top.

Bake at 375 F. for about 50 minutes until apples are tender.

(This dish is high in fibre and vitamins)

Enjoy!

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