This recipe is from Jacques Torres's book - Dessert Circus. According to Jacques Torres, biscotti is traditionally an italian cookie which is baked two times to produce a hard cookie that they like to dip in sweet wine. He has adapted the recipe so these cookies are not quite so hard and also cut the baking time in half. He used cold butter so he can roll and bake them right away. These fragrant, flavorful cookes are great by themselves or dunked in coffee and since Jacques Torres is from Provence, he prefers to dip his in 'pastis'. Me, having lived in Malaysia, will have mine with 'Kopi-O'.
3/4 cup/4 ozs/100 gm whole unblanched almonds
1/3 cup/1.6 ozs/50 gm whole pistachios
7 tbsp/3.5 ozs/100 gm Cold unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup/5.25 ozs/150 gm granulated sugar
2 cups/8.8 ozs/250 gm all purpose flour
1 tbsp/0.3 oz/8 gm Anise seeds
1 tsp/0.2 oz/6 gm baking powder
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
For the egg wash
1 large egg white, beaten
Preheat the oven to 300 f(150 c).
Spread the almonds and postachios evenly on a bking sheet and place in the oven,
Toast for about 30 minutes, until they are golden brown.
You will be able to smell the n uts when they are ready.
A good test is to break a nut in half and check to see if it is light brown on the inside.
Toasting the nuts brings out their natural flavor.
Remove them from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet on wire rack.
Place the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixere on medium speed until well combined, abvout 5 minutes, the mixture will hold together in a soft dough.
Add the colled toasted nuts and mix until they are evenly incorporated, about 1 minute. If you are using hand-held mixer, you may want to knead in the nuts by hand to avoid buring out the motor of the mixeer.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place on a very lightly floured work surface. If the dough is stickly and hard to work with, it is too soft. To fix this. flatten it into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for a minumum of 1 hour.(When the butter in the dough gets cold, the dough will stiffin). Remove from the regrigerator and proceed.
Preheat the oven to 350 f(175c).
Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Use the palms of your hands to roll each piece on the lightly floured work surface into a rope 1 - 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Each rope should be even and fit on your bking sheet lengthwise. If the dough sticks to your hands or to the work surface as you are rolling it, dust it lightly with flour.
Roll firmly to remove any trapped air bubbles (At this stage, you can wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two weeks. Bring it back to room temperature before baking.)
Place two of the piscotti ropes on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. You will only have room for two because they spread as they bake. With a pastry brush, lightly brush each rope with the egg white; this will add shine to the4 baked biscotti.
Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheet.
Use a serrated knife to slice the biscotti on a diagonal into 1/2 inch thick cookies. If you do this while the biscotti are still warm, they not crumble. The biscotti will harden as they cool. If they are still soft when you slice them, place the slices on a bking sheet and bake at 300f(150c) for another 10 - 15 minutes. Repeat the baking and cooling procedure with the remaining biscotti rope.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for two or three weeks.
Dip the biscotti halfway on a diagonal into tempered bittersweet chocolate. Wipe the excess chocolate from the tip and place the bniscotti on a sheet or parchment paper to allow the chocolate to set.