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Nonna's Almond Biscotti with Lágrima Vanilla Extract

This is an incredible biscotti recipe!!  The flavor and texture are superb, and the biscotti gets raving reviews from everyone who tries it - even from those who don't claim to be biscotti fans. It's designated as an Italian recipe, but it is virtually identical to the mandelbrot (camische bread) recipe handed down through generations of Jewish women as well! Enjoy!


1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons brandy
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole almonds with skin, lightly toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

How to make this biscotti

Stir together sugar, butter, brandy, and extracts in a large bowl, then stir in almonds and eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined.
Chill dough, covered, 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 (16-by 2-inch) loaves on an ungreased large baking sheet.
Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer loaves to a rack and cool 15 minutes.
Cut loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife.
Arrange biscotti, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.
Cooks' note:
Biscotti improves in flavor if made 1 to 2 days ahead. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature.  Also amazing dipped in chocolate!
January 2009
by Toni Oltranti

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