Notes: I needed a snack to bribe my colleagues with, something easy to make. Rummaging around in my freezer produced a bag of hazelnuts. Flipping through Baking With Julia, I spied this biscotti recipe. Perfect! The first step involves skinning the nuts by processing them in a strong alkaline solution. My Dad taught me the same trick to tenderize lotus seeds by using a little baking soda in boiling water. Do use a big pot as the mixture will foam vigorously. Once the skins are slipped off, the nuts go in the oven to dry out and toast.
The biscotti are made with no extra fat aside from that in the egg yolks. Shaping the logs was a bit messy, as the dough is sticky and I didn't get as long a log as the recipe advised. I did let the baked logs sit overnight and then did the final toasting the next morning. This was the first time that I tried doing the second bake with the cookies on a rack so that hot air could circulate around them.
If you like very crunchy biscotti, this is the recipe for you. They come out dry and crisp but just the right texture for dipping in tea or coffee. I wouldn't chop the nuts so fine in the future though, it's nice to see them whole.