Sunday, December 30, 2012

Macadamia Shortbread Biscotti

Macadamia Shortbread Biscotti
Source: Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies (Random House, 1995 ed.), pg. 40.

It has been a year since I made my first and so far only biscotti recipe (Barbara's Milk Chocolate Biscotti). We had some friends over last night for dinner and games. I had a ton of desserts that I've been working on the past week and had the biscotti on a tray with the pfeffernusse and peanut brittle. The biscotti got the most raves. This one will definitely be a repeater.

I had started to make this a few mornings ago and was in the process of mixing the ingredients when the power went out. It came back in 5 minutes only to go off again a few minutes later. Fortunately the outage was brief and by the time I was ready to bake, it didn't happen again.  

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter (softened)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract or 1/4 tsp. bitter almond extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups sifted unbleached flour
7 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) roasted and lightly salted whole macadamia nuts (Mauna Loa is a good brand, already salted and roasted)

Ajust the oven rack 1/3 or 1/4 down from the top (if you use a lower rack, the biscotti may become too dark). Preheat to 350. Line a flat cooking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Beat the butter.
Add the vanilla.

Add the almond extract.
Add the salt.
Add the sugar. Mix well.
Beat in the egg.
On low speed, add the flour, beating only until incorporated.
Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon.
Divide the dough in half and form two loafs by placing heaping tablespoons of the dough in a strip about 9 inches long on a piece of plastic wrap about 15 inches long.
Pull the plastic wrap over the dough and press down to form a strip about 9 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Turn upside down and smooth the other side. Repeat the process with the other loaf. Place the loaves in the freezer for about 10 minutes, just so they become non-sticky to be unwrapped.
Unwrap the dough and place on the cookie sheet. This will spread about 4 inches wide so make sure there is some space between the loaves and on the sides. Bake for 25 minutes, reversing the sheet front to back halfway through.
Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300. The baked loaves are fragile. Carefully slide them from the sheet to a cutting board.
Allow the loaves to sit for 5 minutes, then take a sharp knife and slice them crosswise on a slight angle, 3/4 to 1 inch wide.
Stand the slices up on the cookie sheet and bake for another 20-25 minutes. When done, the slices will be golden on the tops and lightly colored on the sides. Smaller pieces will bake sooner and should be removed one by one when they are ready.
Cool on a brown paper bag or paper towels. Handle carefully (some of the nuts may fall out) and store in an airtight container.

1 comment:

Jen said...

I'm really loving all these recipes. My family is planning on taking a trip to Key West in the spring for my mom's 60th. I wonder if I'll have it together enough to make these ahead of time and bring them for her, I know she'd love them. Also, thanks for the macadamia nut brand recommendation, the last ones I bought were TERRIBLE.