Milk Chocolate Biscotti
30 servings scale / convert
1-1/3 cups whole blanched almonds
7 oz. fine quality milk chocolate
1-3/4 cups unbleached flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
4 lg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Toast the almonds in a shallow pan in a preheated 350°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly colored, shaking the pan once or twice. You can tell when they are done by the strong smell of toasted almonds whenyou open the oven door. Set aside to cool.
Cut or break the chocolate into small pieces and place it in the bowlof a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade. Let stand. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Add about a cup of these sifted ingredients to the chocolate. Process for about 30 seconds, or until the chocolate is fine and powdery. In a large bowl mix together the processed ingredients with the remaining sifted dry ingredients. Stir in the almonds. In a small bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla just to mix. With a large rubber or wooden spatula stir the egg mixture into the dryingredients. You might think there is not enough liquid, but there is, just keep stirring. Now place two 20-inch lengths of plastic wrap on the work surface. Inorder to shape two loaves, spoon a strip of of the dough down the middle of each piece of plastic wrap. Each strip should be 13 to 14-inches long. Flatten the tops. Lift the two long sides of the plastic wrap (hold them together as close as possible to the dough, touching the dough) and with your hands press on the plastic wrap to smooth the dough. Shape it into an even strip 14 to 15-inches long, 2-1/2 to 3-inches wide, and 3/4-inch thick (no thicker), with squared ends. If the strips of dough are thicker than they should be, the baked strips will not slice neatly. Transfer to a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for about 2 hours (or as much longer as you wish), until firm enough to be unwrapped.
To bake, adjust two tracks to divide the oven into thirds. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line two large cookie sheets with baking parchmentor aluminim foil, shiny side up. To transfer the dough to the sheets (the dough might still be a bit sticky; if so, it is OK), open the two long sides of plastic wrap on top of one strip of dough and turn the dough out upside down on the lined sheet, placing it diagonally on the sheet. Slowly peel off the plastic wrap. Repeat with the second strip and the second sheet. Bake for 1 hour, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back once during baking to ensure even baking. During baking the strips will spread out (7 to 8-inches wide). After one hour of baking reduce the oven temperature to 275°F and remove the sheets from the oven. Immediately, with a wide, metal spatularelease a strip from the parchment or foil and place it on a board. Repeat with the second strip. Use a pot holder or a folded towel to hold the hot strip in place, anduse a serrated bread knife to cut the strip crossise into slices 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide. Repeat with the second strip. Place the slices, standing upright, onunlined cookie sheets with a little space between them. Bake for 40 minutes, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back once during baking. Let cool and store in an airtight container.
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