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Almond biscotti


fifi
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My sister has a craving for almond biscotti dipped in chocolate. She has found some to buy but they are very expensive and wants to try to make some. We have looked in our books and don't find what we are looking for. the biscotti has a distinct almond flavor and contains sliced almonds. The chocolate is very creamy with a nice melt on the tongue. Recommendations for the cocolate dip would be appreciated as well.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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It sounds like they contain almond extract as well as sliced almonds (don't try using whole - it makes it too difficult to slice before the second bake.) A little more info on taste and texture desired will get a better match. Are they crisp and dry - that would mean little or no butter. Are they rich and crumbly - look for a recipe with butter. I'm away from my recipes right now - but Hay Day Cookbook has some nice recipes, as do a ton of magazines and Italian cookbooks. I'll look for specific recipes that use almonds and chocolate dip, but all are variations on the theme and substituting is pretty easy.

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These are crispy and dry so I am guessing that they are twice baked. I agree about the addition of the almond extract. I don't think you could get that flavor any other way.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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What do you mean by short ones? I've never heard about these....? Probably as you wrote they are hard to find-so I've never seen these (I live in the states), can you post a photo or a link to these please?

There's no logical reason why you can't use whole almonds in any biscotti recipe, other then the ease of slicing them (but then, a few broken pieces happen while your slicing biscotti, I snack on those myself). Pre-toasting your almonds before adding to your batter will enhance your almond flavor. Raw almonds won't bake to their full flavor in your batter with-out toasting them ahead. All biscotti are twice baked to the best of my knowledge.

I have several recipes for biscotti, but I hesitate to post them for copy right reasons. BUT these recipes (biscotti) are usually very versitle cookies. You can take a recipe using pistachios and sub in almonds in their place, plus add a tsp. of tbsp. (to your liking) in their batter with-out anything going wrong. So you don't knead a specific recipe for these. I'm certain you can find several recipes on line if you look at reputable sources/web sites.

I've heard that "true biscotti was made with-out butter" from someone on foodtv, but I've never found a written source to back that up. But if anyone knows more I'd be very interested? I can't really tell a biscotti made with all butter over one with-out........I've had ones with-out any that were just as good.

Oh, also I learned on food tv (I forget who mentioned this or I'd give them credit)rolling your biscotti batter when you shape it into a log for it's first bake in sugar NOT flour. I do that now and think it's a good tip.

As for the chocolate covering. All you need is melted couveture or if price is a problem nestles chocolate chips melted down aren't that bad and are couveture. Real chocolate (vs. coating chocolate) is what melts nicely on your tongue the coatings don't melt in your mouth. But for couveture to be held with-out refridgeration requires it to be tempered before you use it to dip your cookies. BUT if you store your NON-tempered couveture biscotti in your refrigerator, taking out what you want a couple hours prior to eating that will store your non tempered cookies fine.

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What do you mean by short ones? I've never heard about these....? Probably as you wrote they are hard to find-so I've never seen these (I live in the states), can you post a photo or a link to these please?...

I've heard that "true biscotti was made with-out butter" from someone on foodtv, but I've never found a written source to back that up. But if anyone knows more I'd be very interested? I can't really tell a biscotti made with all butter over one with-out........I've had ones with-out any that were just as good.

When I say "short", I mean the ones with butter in them. As in "shortbread". Soft and almost crumbly, like a cookie. These are the kind you see everywhere. All biscotti look the same, just the flavor and texture are different between the um, unshort, hard ones and the short ones. You've probably never had any other kind.

My understanding is that originally, biscotti were made with either no fat or some olive oil, which made for an excellent keeping biscotto. Recently recipes have been modernized and enriched, turning them into fancy little chocolate-coated cakes, which taste very much like any other boutique cookie, with just a distinctive shape. They're still biscotti, just not the original type.

I ran into some of the sort I'm talking about in Southeastern Connecticut, on a road trip. The little bakery had loads of flavors. Every one of them jawbreakers. (Insert into side of mouth-crunch down with maximum force to break off piece) Skip the dip at your own peril.

I don't need that chocolate coating, I'm a purist. Too much stuff takes away from the essence of things.

In the past, I've looked and not found the sort of recipe I was looking for. Everybody's into the buttery thing. But I admit that I stopped looking, since I don't bake many cookies, nor drink coffee to dunk them in anymore.

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Malawry posted a very good Almond Black Pepper Biscotti recipe last year. She had used it for a project on spices while in culinary school. I have made them often - my mother just loves them. For Christmas, I made some, and left out the pepper, then dipped one side in melted chocolate. Chill till chocolate sets. They were great.

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That sounds like what I am looking for. Maybe if I search all of malawry's posts or maybe she will weigh in here.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Well to be honest, I haven't expereinced what you describe Katherine. Short cookies are about the lack of egg or moisture creating a sandy texture with the fat and flour. So a cookie with-out much moisture will crumble easier then one that is well bound with eggs.

I strongly believe that density in biscotti comes from other factors then the fat used: how long they were baked, drying them out and how stale they are (unforunately- that's all too common) and what liquids were used- such as eggs.

I know this might raise a few eye brows because it goes against what we learn as bakers.....but I've baked many varieties of biscotti and in my experience I don't think that it's ultimate texture is set because of it's ingredients.......I think ultimately it's about how dry or stale they are.

In addition to Malawry's recipe you might find some interesting recipes at Italian web sites. I have this book marked (but haven't baked from them yet) http://www.ciaoitalia.com , www.foodtv.com has a couple well known Italian Chef shows that "should" have some good recipes too.

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The recipe for Biscoti di Prato on the ciaoitalia site that wendy posted is the type of biscotti recipe you are looking for. It does not have any fat in it which makes them more dense. I used to make this type in my shop and customers liked them because they don't dissolve in coffee or wine.

check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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woo hoo! pastrymama. That is what I am looking for.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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