Chocolate Chip Almond Biscotti

6 oz. (1 1/4 cups) whole almonds
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
1 cup minus 2 T. sugar
12 oz. (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T. brandy

Toast the almonds in a single layer at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, shaking the pan a few times. Allow them to cool.

Change oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and stir to mix. Place about 1/2 cup of these ingredients into a food processor, add 1/2 cup of the almonds and process until the almonds are fine and powdery, about 30 seconds. Add the processed mixture to the rest of the dry ingredients and stir in the chocolate chips and the remaining almonds.

In a small bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla and brandy, just enough to mix. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until the ingredients are moistened. (Maida says to be patient, which you will have to be. This is a stiff dough.)

Turn dough out onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Wet your hands and shape the dough into a round mound and cut with a sharp knife into four even pieces. Continue to wet your hands and shape each piece into a log about 9 inches long, 2 inches wide and about 1/2 inch high. (Press, don’t roll, the dough.)

Prepare two baking sheets by layering them with parchment paper, and place two logs on each sheet. Place both pans into a 375 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes, reversing the sheets midway through baking time.

Remove the sheets and slide logs onto a cutting board to cool for 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees.

With a long serrated knife, carefully slice each log diagonally into slices about 1/2 inch wide. This can be tricky, so go slowly and cut with a sawing motion. Place the slices cut side down back onto the baking sheets, which at this point can be unlined.

Return to a 275 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes, turning the slices over midway through baking. Turn the oven heat off, open the oven door, and let the biscotti cool in the oven.

When cool, store in an airtight container. They’ll keep indefinitely!

Makes about 40 biscotti
3 Poodles for a large one!