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Biscotti di Prato

3/4 cup whole almonds
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups unbleached or all-purpose flour
7/8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt

Place nuts in a shallow pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven
for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool. In a small
bowl beat eggs, vanilla and almond extract with a wire whisk. In
a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add egg
mixture and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Cut nuts into halves
or thirds and mix in. Divide dough in half.

On a greased and floured baking sheet, pat out dough into two logs
about 1/2 inch thick, 1 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long, spacing
them at least 2 inches apart. Bake in the middle of a preheated
300 degree oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer
from the baking sheet to a rack. Let cool 5 minutes. Place on a
cutting board. With a serrated knife slice diagonally at a 45
degree angle about 1/2 inch thick. Lay the slices flat on the
baking sheet and return to a 275 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes
or until toasted, turning them over once to dry the other side.
Store in a tightly covered container.

Chocolate Glaze variation. Coarsely chop 3 ounces semisweet
chocolate and place in a small pan that fits snugly over a saucepan
of barely simmering water. heat until chocolate melts. Stir to
blend. Or place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave
on medium for 2 minutes or until chocolate melts. Stir to blend.
With a spatula spread over entire top surface of cookies. Let cool
at room temperature until set.

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.


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