Sunday, March 13, 2016
Whenever I feel stressed or bogged down with too much work, I resort to my favorite cookbook: Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax. Many of the pages are dogeared or marred with colorful post-it notes, because I simply want to make everything in the book. This past week, I decided to tackle cornmeal almond biscotti which turned out to be a very good decision. These biscotti are crunchy and flavorful, with a perfect texture, thanks to the cornmeal.
Cornmeal Almond Biscotti (adapted from Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax)
Makes about 4.5 dozen biscotti
1 1/4 cups whole unbalanced almonds
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or generously butter the baking sheets; set aside. Scatter the almonds over a separate baking sheet and toast until dark-medium brown, usually 12 to 15 minutes.
2. Cool slightly on a wire rack; leave the oven on. Chop enough of the almonds to measure 1/4 cup. Set both the chopped and whole almonds aside.
3. Cream the butter with the sugar using an electric mixer just until combined, no longer. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Add 1 1/4 cups of the flour, the cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and all of the almonds; mix until combined and the nuts are distributed. Stir in enough of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour so the dough comes together, but is not sticky (the dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl).
4. Working on the prepared baking sheets, shape the dough into 4 long logs, each about 1 inch wide and 3/4 inch high.
5. Bake until the dough is set and beginning to turn pale gold at the edges, about 15 minutes (This time might fluctuate due to your oven. The biscotti might take longer - this is okay!) Remove the baking sheets to a wire rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes; leave the oven on.
6. Cut the biscotti into even slices about 1/2 inch wide. Arrange the slices, cut sides up, on the baking sheets. Return to the oven and bake the biscotti again until very lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
7. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container. (These biscotti keep well for about a week, however in my house, they were all devoured in approximately 5 days.)