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I love Mark Bittman! This comes from "How to Cook Everything." This was my first time making biscotti, and they came out absolutely wonderful -- this was such an easy recipe. Best of all, he gives it not as a recipe, but as a template; you can essentially add anything and make whatever kind of biscotti you want. The only near-problem I found is that the 30 minute initial cooking time was too long for me; the edges of my logs were quite brown. Next time I'll try for 25-28 minutes, and go a full 20 minutes for the second round in the oven. The serving size is based on half biscotti; I got 24 very large biscotti, and consider half a cookie a serving.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated; add extract and beat until incorporated.
- Butter and flour two cookie sheets (or spritz 'em with baking spray; that worked well for me). Divide dough in half and shape each into a "log" about 2" wide. This will spread quite a bit during baking, so if you try to cram 'em on to one baking sheet, bear that in mind.
- Bake until logs are golden and beginning to crack on top. Bittman says this is 30 minutes; for me, it was closer to 25 minutes. (At 30 minutes mine were a little overdone.) Remove from oven and drop temperature to 250.
- When loaves are cool enough to touch, slice each into 1/2-inch slices, on the diagnonal. (You can always eat the little nubby ends that are left over!)
- Return the slices to the baking sheets and return them to the oven. Bake at 250 for another 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.
- Cool on wire racks.
- NOTE: Mr. Bittman makes lots of wonderful suggestions for variations. I threw in a cup of chopped blanched almonds and half a cup of currants, and used almond extract. You can throw in any spice you like (cinnamon, anise, nutmeg); a cup of nuts (almonds or hazelnuts); chocolate chips; citrus zest; crystallized ginger; dried fruit -- you can change the flavor of your extract to match. You can also wait until your biscotti are cool, and then top 'em with a chocolate glaze (4 oz. good chocolate mixed with 2 tablespoons butter and a little extract for flavoring).