Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Almond Praline Biscotti

I decided I needed a change of scenery so I went to visit my sister for a few days. It was great to get away and recharge a little. Always helps!
On Sunday we went for a walk in town and visited..what else?..a bakery! There really wasn't much open but there was this darling little bakery down a back alley that's only been open a year. It was tiny and so cute with a beautiful little outside garden where you could sit down and eat. But it was pouring rain just as we got there so we stayed a few extra minutes to wait out the rain.
As we chatted with the girl behind the counter, I noticed the biscotti on the counter. One of the flavors was an Almond Praline Biscotti. Having recently made the Praline Ice Cream Sandwiches, which came out great, I thought the idea of this delicious praline might be really good in a biscotti.
So I reworked one of the biscotti recipes I make and added almond praline to it. It really came out so very good! The biscotti is crunchy and the wonderful flavor of the almond praline is a great addition.

Oh, and the photos below? They are some of the beautiful flowers in my sisters garden. The rain had just ended and the flowers still have some drops of rain on them.
Aren't these tiny pink roses pretty?

I love the heart shaped rock!

This picture reminds me of the 1970's! Everything was daisies!
Almond Praline Biscotti ( Makes approx. 15 biscotti).

2 cups of AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup almonds, sliced, toasted
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Make praline: In a small bowl, mix the almonds with the salt. Set aside.
2. Put a sheet of foil onto a work surface.
3. Place the sugar in a heavy 10" skillet over moderate heat, undisturbed, til it begins to melt. Stir til it reaches a light golden color.
4. Add the almond/salt mixture and quickly stir to coat well. Spread onto the foil. If the mixture hardens too quickly, place the skillet back over the heat til it softens again but you must work fast. (Be careful not to touch the hot sugar mixture). Let it cool til you can touch it.
5. Chop, using a large heavy knife, into small pieces. The food processor might work for this, too. I didn't try it.

**Note: This recipe makes more than you'll need for this one batch of biscotti. Any leftover can be used on a few ways. You can just eat it straight! Or.. you can sprinkle it over ice cream or add it to some melted chocolate, maybe? Wow, that sounds good!**

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

1. In medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. In large mixer bowl beat eggs and sugar til light and thick.
3. Beat in cooled melted butter, almond extract and vanilla.
4. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and beat just til combined.
5. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chopped almond praline.
6. Scoop the dough out onto the parchment lined sheet. Using a rubber spatula, form the log into a 3"-4" wide by approx. 18" log. Smooth out the top with the spatula.
7. Bake for 20 - 23 minutes, or til the top feels firm to the touch.
8. Take out of the oven and allow to cool at least 20 minutes.
9. Using a serrated knife, cut slices approx. 3/4" thick. ( To make less crumbled biscotti, make sure the biscotti is cool and when you slice, use a gentle sawing motion only halfway through, then just push the knife straight down the rest of the way).
10. Bake the slices 8- 9 minutes on each side at the same 350 oven temp. Just watch the biscotti and check before the time is completely up just in case your oven runs hot. What you want is nice crunchy biscotti but not browned. It will harden up as it cools.
Biscotti will keep for several weeks in an air tight container. I find cookie tins work best.

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