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Biscotti Quadrati al Miele e alle Noci

Posted By Mardi Michels On February 21, 2010 @ 05:00 In baking,dessert,eat,Gourmet unbound,recipes | 32 Comments

Biscotti Quadrati al Miele e alle Noci

For crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For topping
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon mild honey
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 cup whole almonds with skins (3 oz), toasted
3/4 cup hazelnuts (4 oz), toasted and any loose skins rubbed off in a kitchen towel
1/4 cup pine nuts (1 1/2 oz), lightly toasted

Special equipment: a pastry or bench scraper

Preparation
Make crust:
Butter a 9-inch square metal baking pan (2 inches deep) and line with 2 crisscrossed sheets of foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Butter foil.

Blend together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

Add egg and stir with a fork (or pulse) until a crumbly dough forms.

Turn out dough onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together with scraper.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Press dough evenly onto bottom (but not up sides) of baking pan and bake in middle of oven until edges are golden and begin to pull away from sides of pan, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.

Make topping:
Bring honey, brown sugar, and salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil, without stirring, 2 minutes. Add butter and cream and boil, stirring,1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in all nuts until completely coated.

Pour nut mixture over pastry crust, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until topping is caramelized and bubbling, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack. Lift dessert out of pan using foil overhang and cut into 25 squares.

Cooks’ note: Honey nut squares keep, layered between sheets of wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.


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