Time to make Valentine treats. I bumped into these adorable very thin biscotti in Nick Malgieri's Cookies Unlimited cookbook. I loved how simple and clean the cookies looked. I also had all the ingredients in the pantry. Kate can also vouch for whether these are really found everywhere Down Under made with all different types of nuts. Cath introduced me to my first biscotti recipe, Biscotti di Prato, and walked me through it during our stint in Philly. This is still my favorite. My family always hopes to find two of their favorites in my cookie jar during their visits, Biscotti di Prato and my Chocolate Toffee cookies. Hope you have a very sweet V Day.
Australian Almond Toasts
Makes about 60 very thin biscotti
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
6 oz (about 1 1/2 c.) blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
3 large egg whites (little less than 1/2 c.)
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
Preheat 350. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. mix in almonds. In separate bowl, whip egg whites until the hold their shape (2-3 min). 1 T. at a time, beat in the sugar until the egg whites hold a firm peak. Beat in vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture. Scrape dough into a loaf pan, buttered and bottom lined with parchment. Smooth the top. Bake for 35-40 min. Cool to room temp. Slice about every 1/8 inch. Prehead to 275 and rebake slices for about 15 min until light golden and dry.
Biscotti di Prato
¾ cup whole almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups unbleached or all-purpose flour
7/8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
Place nuts in a shallow pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool.
In a small bowl beat eggs, vanilla, and almond extract with a wire whisk.
In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
Add egg mixture and mix until blended, about 1 minute.
Cut nuts into halves or thirds and mix in.
Divide dough in half.
On a greased and floured baking sheet, pat out dough into two logs about ½ inch thick, 1.5 inches wide, and 12 inches long, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
Bake in the middle of a preheated 300 degree oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Transfer from the baking sheet to a rack. Let cool 5 minutes.
Place on a cutting board. With a serrated knife slice diagonally at a 45 degree angle and ½ inch thick.
Lay the slices flat on the baking sheet and return to a 275 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until toasted, turning them over once to dry the other side.
Store in a tightly covered container.
Chocolate Toffee Cookies
Makes about 18
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath or Skor), coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool mixture to lukewarm.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee and nuts. Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls with an ice cream scoop onto sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 15 minutes. Cool on sheets. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)