This recipe comes from Chris Bianco's business partner, Susan Pool. It's served here with cool, refreshing Mandarin Italian Ice.
- 3/4 cup whole raw almonds
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup spelt flour (arrowheadmills.com)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon finely grated mandarin zest, or tangerine or orange zest
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1 teaspoon pure anise extract (optional)
- 1 tablespoon grappa (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Whisk flours, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add zest and anise seeds, and extract and grappa if desired.
With machine on low, add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 batches. Stir in almonds. Turn out dough onto work surface and knead to combine. Divide into 2 pieces.
On a baking sheet, shape each piece into a log (1 1/2 by 14 inches), and set a few inches apart. Bake until light brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Slice diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place biscotti flat on baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes more. Flip biscotti over, and bake until firm and dry, about 10 minutes more. Let cool.