I cannot resist the urge to take a recipe and tweek it somehow to make it better (at least in my own mind). This is no doubt how all recipes are born and luckily chefs and bakers all around the world are continually doing this to create “new” and more interesting recipes for our ever-changing palettes. Which is also the reason why we love a simple dish as well – how about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a bowl of perfectly cooked pasta with marinara?
For this recipe I only made one change, and it’s really just a matter of preference. The original recipe called for whole almonds and I opted for sliced. The only reason is that I find it much easier to slice them than going through whole almonds, to make a cleaner slice. So, it’s your choice to use what you want, or have on hand. Be sure to lightly toast them first to bring out their flavor. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, or until you start to smell them. Just don’t let them burn!!! If that happens you have no choice but to throw them away as they will taste burnt and bitter.
Biscotti may not be the prettiest of cookies to look at, but who says things have to look pretty to taste great? This is another fantastic recipe from The Craft of Baking. The flavors work so well together and the cornmeal adds just the right amount of texture to it. Simple, but perfect.
1 C ( 3.5 oz, 100 g) blanched sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 C (4.3 oz, 120 g) sugar
1/2 C (4 oz, 114 g) butter
2 tsp anise seeds, ground
1 1/2 C ( 6.75 oz, 195 g) flour
1/2 C ( 2.25 oz, 65 g) corn meal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C ( 4.8 oz), 135 g) dried cherries
Beat the butter, sugar and ground seeds until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time,scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition. Whisk together dry ingredients then add to wet. Stir in the cherries and almonds.
Shape into 2 logs and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then slice and lay cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 250 for 1 hour