Biscotti di Prato (Prato Style Biscotti)

We've got two Biscotti di Prato recipes here, this first traditional biscotti is from Saveur magazine. The second is from a book called "Biscotti and Other Low Fat Cookies," by Maria Robbins.

There is much less sugar in the second recipe which also yields 5 dozen twice-baked cookies. The Saveur recipe yields 4 dozen.

Yield: 4 dozen

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups flour

2 1/2 cups sugar

3 whole eggs

1 egg yolk

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 pinches saffron threads

1 cup shelled almonds, toasted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

3. Put flour on a clean surface, shape into a mound with your hands, then make a well in the center.

4. Add sugar, 2 of the whole eggs, egg yolk, baking powder, salt, saffron, and 3 tbsp. water to well and beat together with your fingers or a fork.

5. Continue beating, gradually incorporating flour from inside edge of well, until dough comes together (dough will be stiff).

6. Add almonds and knead with both hands until dough is smooth, 1–2 minutes.

6. Quarter dough, roll into 1 1/2" x 10" logs, and arrange on prepared baking sheet 2" apart.

7. Beat the remaining whole egg in a small bowl, then brush dough logs with some of it.

8. Transfer dough logs to oven and bake until golden brown on top, about 45 minutes.

9. Remove baking sheet from oven and use a long metal spatula to transfer dough logs to a cutting board.

10. Carefully cut logs crosswise with a serrated knife (logs will be a bit fragile) into 1/2"-thick cookies.

11. Return cookies to a baking sheet and arrange, cut side up, in a single layer. Bake cookies until pale brown, 20-25 minutes.

12. Set cookies aside to cool completely before serving.

Cookies will keep for up to 1 month in an airtight container.

This recipe is from "Biscotti and Other Low-Fat Cookies," by Maria Robbins.

Yield: About 60 Biscotti

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

3/4 cup whole, unblanched almonds, lightly toasted

1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla and almond extracts.

4. Add to the flour mixture and mix on low speed to form a soft dough.

5. Remove bowl from the mixer and stir in the almonds with a wooden spoon.

6. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and let rest for 1 minute.

7. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and shape each piece into a log about 12 inches long.

8. Arrange 2 logs on one prepared baking sheet and the third on the other baking sheet. Flatten the logs slightly with the palm of your hand and brush with the egg wash.

9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are firm to the touch and golden brown.

10. Remove baking sheets to a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle.

11. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

12. Slide the baked logs, one at a time, onto a cutting board. Using a long serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.

13. Arrange the biscotti, cut sides down, on the baking sheet.

14. Bake the biscotti for 7 to 8 minutes on each side.

15. Transfer the biscotti to wire racks and let cool completely.

Store the biscotti at room temperature in airtight container. They will keep for about 1 month.