Apricot Biscotti


1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (I cut up with scissors)1/2 cup whole almonds1/3 cup butterzest from one orange, finely minced3/4 cup sugar (but really I use about a tsp less)2 eggs1 tsp vanilla extract1/4 tsp almond extract2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour1 1/2 tsp baking powder1/8 tsp nutmeg1/4 tsp saltPlace butter in a bowl to soften. Peel off zest of one big orange, then mince or chop up in a spice grinder. Add to butter and blend. This gets a good orange flavor into the butter. Place the nuts in one layer on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325F oven till brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool. While they're cooling, cut up the dried apricots. I use scissors, cut them into strips, then cut the strips into smaller pieces. It takes about ten minutes. By then the nuts are cool and can be coarsely chopped. Cream the butter with orange peel and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla and almond extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg and add to the butter mixture, combining until thoroughly mixed. Add the dried apricots and almonds and mix till blended. Divide dough in half. I do this with plastic wrap, as the dough can be sticky. Shape into a log as long as your baking sheet, then unwrap onto baking sheet. Do the same with the other half. I use a silicone baking sheet. If you don't, grease the pan. Get your fingers wet and then pat down the loaves a bit, so they're no longer round. Bake on middle shelf in 325F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Remove from oven to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. (This is where I'm going to finish one and freeze the other one). When they're cool, place on cutting board, one at a time, and slice with serrated bread knife at a 45 angle, about 1/2' thick. They are still tender, so be careful. (There will be crumbs and broken pieces and the little ends, which kids and DHs like to sample) Place slices on baking sheet and bake again for about 8 minutes, then take out and turn over and bake another 8 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Each loaf makes about 18 biscotti. Store in sealed container to preserve crispness


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