Friday, April 8, 2011
Cookies & biscotti
In the middle of the afternoon there is nothing more pleasant than being able to sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and a couple of cookies. No matter what kind of day you are having, this little act makes everything seem a bit more civilized.
These are some of my favorites and are quite easy to make. They will keep in an airtight container for at least 4 days of afternoon snacking.
Pictured above are Almond-Anise Biscotti, Pain d'Amande, & Langues de Chat (Cat Tongues).
Whole eggs 2
Egg yolks 1
Sugar 1 c
Flour 2 c
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Almond extract 1/8 tsp
Anise seed 1 tsp
Orange zest 2 tsp
(coarsely chopped) 1 1/2 c
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat eggs in mixture with sugar 1 minute with the paddle attachment. Add dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Add extract, anise, zest, and almonds and mix until combined. Form into 2 logs.
Bake logs at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or until set. Cut cookies crosswise (about 1/4" to 1/2" thick). Reduce the heat in the oven to 300 degrees. Lay the cookies out flat on a baking sheet and toast them until they are crisp and golden.
Flour 4 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Water 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp
Butter 8 oz
Demerara or raw sugar 3 c
Cinnamon 1 tsp
Sliced almonds 6 oz
Melt the butter in a pot and add cold water to cool slightly. Add to pot, cinnamon, sugar and let the sugar dissolve slightly but not completely (this will give the cookies a nice crunch). Put this mixture into a stand mixer and add almonds and sifted dry ingredients - mix until the dough comes together.
Press the dough into a flat sheet about an inch or so thick (pressing it into a plastic lined baking sheet or square cake pan works well (this recipe will yield enough dough to cover half of a baking sheet).
Chill the dough for at least 2 hours then cut the dough into logs however long you want the cookies to be.
Slice the cookies very thin and bake at 350 degrees until set and slightly golden - about 8-10 minutes.
Langues de Chat (Cat Tongues)
Butter 1/2 lb
Sugar 1/2 lb
Egg whites 1/2 lb (~1 c)
Flour 1/2 lb
Cream the butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment then add your sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the room temperature egg whites little by little - you are making an emulsification so add a bit then let the dough come back together before adding more, you cannot over mix this part of the dough so don't worry if it takes a while.
When all of the egg whites have been added, put your flour into the mixer and blend until the dough comes together. The dough will be quite loose and is ready to use.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spread or pipe the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Put in oven and set a timer for 4 minutes. When the timer rings, sprinkle the half-baked cookies with a very light coating of granulated sugar and put them back into the oven to finish baking about another 4-6 minutes - the cookies should be golden brown all the way through.