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BISCOTTI

Biscotti in Italian means "twice cooked". These cookies are hard and dry and are an excellent tea or coffee cookie. The biscott is one of the few cookies that can stand up the strong taste of espresso. In Italy, these are also served after a meal and dunked into a sherry or port wine.

1 cup lightly salted whole almonds

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup white sugar

5 egg whites

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest

4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Place nuts in baking dish and bake at 325. in preheated over for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool. Cut nuts into thirds or fourths. The thinner the better. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg whites, vanilla extract, almond extract, and orange zest. In second bowl combine flour, baking powder and nutmeg. Add these ingredients to the creamed butter. Combine the nuts. This mixture will be quite dry and will require that it be worked (15 to 45 minutes) by hand to combine the ingredients. The dough should be slightly moist with no dry spots. A small amount of water (2 tablespoons) may be added to the dough. Expect to get a good work out. On a slightly floured cutting board, divide the dough into four equal parts. Roll each piece into a log approx. 1 x 12". Flatten each log so that it is 1/2" thick by 1 1/2" wide by approx. 12" long. Place all four pieces on the baking sheet used for cooking the almonds. Each piece should be approx. 2" apart. Place the pan in preheated 325 oven and cook for 25 minutes. or until golden brown. (The cooking time on Johnston Island is usually extended and temp canbe reduced to 300)The dough should have a slight color change and be stiff. Remove the dough and transfer to rack to cool. After about 15 mins. or when dough is cool enough to handle, place the logs on the cutting board and cut diagonally into 1/2" pieces. Lay the pieces on their side on the baking sheet. Return baking sheet to oven and cook for 15 minutes. Check to see that the sheet side of the cookie is not moist and is slightly brown. This can take 45 on the island. Turn each cookie over and cook the other way. When done transfer to a rack and cool. Store in tightly covered container.

(My father-in-law worked on Johnston Island and while there the folks all put together a recipe book from which this came from.)
Doug/Va.