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Quaresimali (Lenten Almond Biscuits)

1 pound unblanched almonds
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten
an egg wash made by beating together 1 large egg and 2 tablespoons milk

Toast the almonds in jelly-roll pan in a preheated 375F oven for
10 minutes and let them cool. In a blender or food processor grind
fine one fourth of the almonds with 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar
and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the flour, the
remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, the cinnamon,
and the baking powder, add the butter, and stir the mixture until
it is combined. Stir in the remaining almonds, chopped coarse,
and the eggs and knead the dough in the bowl until it is combined.
Halve the dough and with floured hands form each half into a 15-by-4
inch rectangle. Transfer the rectangles with spatulas to buttered
and floured baking sheets, brush them well with the egg wash, and
bake them in the upper third of a preheated 375F oven for 20-25
minutes, or until they are golden brown and a skewer comes out
clean. Cut the rectangles crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices
and let the slices stand in the turned off oven for 15 minutes.
Transfer the slices to racks, let them cool, and store them in
airtight containers. Makes about 36 biscotti.


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