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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Golden Raisin and Almond Biscotti

I was never a big fan of biscotti until I made these. Freshly baked biscotti are about a million times better than those packaged versions you buy at Starbucks. As far as I can tell, the main differences between biscotti and regular cookies are 1) the fact that you use olive oil (not butter or shortening) as the wet ingredient, and 2) that you bake them twice at a much lower heat, as opposed to popping them in the oven for a few minutes at a high heat, like regular cookies. That means that making these is a 1.5 or 2 hour endeavor, but they're worth it.

These would be great drizzled with dark chocolate, if you want them a little sweeter!

Golden Raisin and Almond Biscotti

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for the almonds
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup raw unsalted almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Chop almonds into small pieces.

3. In a saute pan, on medium heat, toast almond pieces in one tablespoon of olive oil for approximately 3 minutes, like this:

4. In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar. Mix in the vanilla and eggs.
5. Add 1 cup of flour, then salt, and baking powder, then final 3/4 flour.
6. Mix raisins and toasted nuts into batter.
7. Divide dough in half. Form two logs on a parchment-lined cookie sheet (Note: Wetting your hands helps make molding the dough easier).
8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until logs are slightly golden. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 275 degrees.

9. Cut logs at a diagonal angle (approximately 30 degrees) into 3/4" thick slices, like this photo:

10. Lay on sides on parchment cookie sheet. Bake approximately 9 more minutes, cool, and serve.

Makes approximately two dozen biscotti.

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