Sunday, February 13, 2011

Biscotti Di Prato

This is the traditional dipping cookie from Prato. Serve at the end of a meal with a glass of Vin Santo.

2 cups raw, unpeeled almonds
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
4 T unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups sugar, plus 2 T, for glaze
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 (.5 ounce or 16g) package Lievito Pane degu Angeli (a vanilla-flavored Italian yeast)
zest of 1 orange
pinch salt

Preparing the biscotti:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the almonds on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wide ceramic platter to cool off. Do not leave them on the cookie sheet or they will continue to cook and burn.

Turn oven up to 350 degrees F.

In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat 2 eggs, 2 yolks, melted butter, and 10 1/2 ounces sugar on medium speed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, package of Lievito Pane degu Angeli, orange zest, and pinch of salt then slowly, one spoonful at the time, add the dry ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture and work until the dough forms and starts coming away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the almonds; do this final step by hand as the almonds would break if added into the mixer.

Butter 2 cookie sheets and, using your hands, separate the dough in two equal parts that you will roll into cylinders approximately 2-inches thick by 8-inches long.

In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons sugar and one egg, then with a pastry brush glaze the cookie dough evenly and place the sheets in the oven.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the top has reached a nice golden brown color.

Remove from the oven and rest on a cooling rack for about 1 hour, then using a bread knife, slice the cookies about 3/4-inch thick.

To ensure a proper crunchiness, leave the cookies to rest uncovered through the night, and then toast them in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes on each side the day after. When they cool off for the second time the will be perfectly "tempered".

Makes 50 cookies


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