Almond Cookies (Biscotti Di Prato)
Sifted unbleached white four
Pinch of salt
Egg yolk beaten with
Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake them for 7 minutes. Allow to cool while you prepare the biscotti dough.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. If you are using an electric mixer, turn the machine on to the slowest speed and mix the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough forms a ball on the beaters, add the vanilla and almonds and continue beating until they are distributed throughout the batter. The batter will be quite sticky. (A hand mixer is probably not strong enough to handle this dough. You can mix the dough by hand.)
Scrape the batter out of the bowl onto a heavily floured work surface. Using a pastry scraper or rubber spatula, divide the dough into two equal pieces. Flour your hands and roll each piece of dough into the flour to completely coat it. Form each piece into a log approximately 10 inches long. Place the logs side by side on a well-greased baking sheet. They will spread slightly. Brush with the egg yolk-and-water mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the logs to a cutting board.
Using a large chef's knife, slice the logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Place the cut pieces, cut side down, back onto the baking sheet with about 1 inch of space between the pieces. Lower the heat to 325-F and bake for 15 minutes longer. Cool on racks. These will keep frozen for several months.
Preheat the oven to 350-F.