One of the newest cookbooks to our collection came during this year’s annual Christmas cookbook haul. It is called Chewy, Gooey, Crispy Crunchy, Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich and I am slowly making my way through it.
Since we are both big fans of the biscotti, I decided to tackle crunchy first. As you may have heard, M is crazy for the Cardamom Biscotti and requests it often. I assured him that these would be just as good (they actually aren’t) and that it would allow me to try something new.
Biscotti are great in that they provide a terrific bit of sweet to the end of a meal without the addition of any fat.
from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich
- 2 cups (9 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (7 oz) sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp amaretto or 2 Tbsp rum with 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp aniseed, crushed in a mortar to release flavor (optional)
- 1 cup (5 oz) whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees with a rack in the middle. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or foil.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
- Whisk the eggs, amaretto, vanilla, and aniseed, if using, in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in the flour mixture and then the almonds. The dough will be thick and sticky. Scrape the dough into a long log shape lengthwise on the prepared cookie sheet. Wet your hands and shape the dough into a long flat loaf about 12 by 4 inches.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, until firm and dry, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the pan on a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Leave the oven on.
- Transfer the loaf carefully to a cutting board by sliding a metal spatula under the loaf to detach and remove the parchment or foil. Using a long serrated knife, cut the loaf on a diagonal into slices 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. Transfer the slices to the unlined baking sheet, standing them at least 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing. To retain crispness, put the cookies in an airtight container as soon as they are completely cool. Biscotti may be stored airtight for several weeks.