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1 1/4 cups whole almonds, blanched or unblanch
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds on a baking
sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Reduce the oven
temperature to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment
paper or foil, shiny sideup. Arrange the oven racks to divide the
oven into thirds.

If you are using a mixer with a paddle attachment, follow these
instructions: Stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate
small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and vanilla. Blend the liquid
ingredients into the dry ingredients at the lowest speed; the dough
should cohere. It will be heavy and sticky. Pour in the nuts in 2
additions, beating just until the nuts begin to break. Turn out
the dough onto a floured surface and fold it over itself 3 or 4
times to distribute the nuts. Let the dough rest for a minute or
two before going to step 3.

If you are using a food processor, follow these instructions: Whirl
the eggs and vanilla for 5 seconds. Stir together the dry ingredients
in a separate bowl and add them to the food processor, cup at a
time, pulsing about 5 times after each addition, until the dough
almost incorporates the flour;the dough will not quite form a ball.
Add the nuts in 2 additions, pulsing 5 times after each one. The
dough will still not cohere, and the nuts will not be well distributed.
Turn out the pieces of dough onto a floured board, and with
well-floured hands, fold the pieces over a dozen or so times in a
rough kneading motion, or until the nuts are better distributed
and the dough coheres. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes before
going to step 3.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Working with lightly floured
hands on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a rope
about 1 inch wide and between 12 and 14 inches long. For larger
biscotti, divide the dough in half and make 2 wider logs. Place
the logs on the baking sheets, leaving at least 4 inches between
each log.

Bake for 50 minutes, reversing the sheets top to bottom halfway
through the baking. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
Leave the oven on. Gently peel off the parchment paper or foil and
place the bars on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the
bars every = inch on the diagonal. Place the cookies, cut sides
up, on the 2 baking sheets and toast in the oven for between 35
and 50 minutes, depending on how dark you like the cookies. Cool
on a rack. Store the cookies in a container that admits air, which
will keep them from softening.



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