Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Almond Biscotti

[Flickr: babe_kl]

20091130-cookieman.jpgAs we bravely venture into our fourth week of December cookie extravaganza, my sweet tooth is telling me we need to take a breather. A steady diet of cookies might seem ideal, but after a whopping three consecutive weeks of baking, cookies aren't sounding as appealing. So today I am sharing one that's slightly less indulgent but certainly no less delicious.

Biscotti are twice-baked cookies, light on the sugar and heavy on the crunch. They have become coffee shop staples that unfortunately are more of a dry afterthought than something to relish. If you've never experienced the little slices of joy that are home-baked biscotti, then you really have to try this recipe for Almond Biscotti from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.

The almond-studded and scented dough is formed into low loaves and bakes in the oven until the outside is firm and crisp, while the inside remains soft and just slightly underdone. The loaves are taken out of the oven, cooled slightly, then sliced on the diagonal and sent back in for a final bake.

The finished biscotti emerge just barely browned, crunchy, and thankfully nothing like those sad coffee shop specimens. These homemade biscotti have layers of crunch and softness, and a wonderful crumb.

You can make endless variations with this dough too: fennel or anise seeds are a great addition for licorice fans, any type of nut (particularly pistachios or hazelnuts), chocolate, dried fruit, candied citrus peel or ginger—honestly if you have it sitting on your baking shelf, it would probably make a great addition to a batch of homemade biscotti.

Win America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book to give away this week.

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