Mandelbrot

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Title: Mandelbrot
Yield: 36 Servings
Categories: Cookies

Ingredients:

2 c Flour
1/4 ts Baking soda
1 ts Baking powder
1/4 ts Salt
2/3 c Sugar
5 ts Orange zest; finely chopped*
2 Egg
1/4 c Oil
1 1/2 ts Vanilla extract
1/2 ts Almond extract
1 2/3 c Almonds, unblanched sliced
1/3 c Almonds, unblanched whole


----------------------------------TOPPING----------------------------------
2 tb Sugar
1/8 ts Cinnamon, ground
1 Egg white

*Remove zest from orange in lengthwise strips with a vegetable peeler, and
chop finely.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Food Processor Method: In a medium bowl, sift together all but 1/4 c of the
flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to mix it
well.

In a food processor with the metal blade, process the sugar and orange zest
until the zest is finely minced. Add the eggs and process for about 30
seconds or until thoroughly blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

With the motor running, add the oil and extracts and process until blended.
Add the sliced almonds and process until finely chopped. Add the flour
mixture and process for about 7 seconds or until the flour is almost
incorporated. (There will be some flour clinging to the sides of the work
bowl. Do not overprocess as the dough will be too stiff to incorporate the
flour completely in the processor.)

Electric Mixer Method: Finely grate the orange zest. Finely chop the
sliced almonds. Place them both in a medium bowl. Sift together all but
1/4 cup of the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt and add
to the nuts and zest. Whisk together to mix them well. In a large mixing
bowl, beat the sugar and eggs for several minutes, until very thick and
pale in color. With the mixer at medium speed, beat in the oil and
extracts. At low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture.

For both methods: Scrape the dough (including any flour from the work bowl)
onto a lightly flour counter and knead the dough, adding the remaining 1/4
c flour to form a soft, non-sticky dough.

Shape the dough into two 2-inch wide cylinders. Each will be about 7 1/2
inches long. Line up the whole almonds lengthwise in rows along the dough
and press them well into the dough. With the palms of your hands, roll the
cylinders on the counter, enclosing the almonds and maintaining the 2- inch
diameters of the cylinders. Place the cylinders 2 inches apart on a cookie
sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the
topping. Beat the egg white. Brush the cylinders lightly with the beaten
egg white and sprinkle them with the cinnamon topping.

Bake on the upper rack of the oven for 30 minutes or until lightly browned
and very firm.

Cool the cylinders on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until just warm.
Slip them off the sheet and onto a counter. With a serrated knife, cut
diagonal 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices closely together on lightly
buttered cookie sheets.

Toast the slices for about 8 minutes. Using a small metal spatula, turn
them and bake for another 8 minutes or until golden brown. For even
baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back
halfway through the baking period. [I NEVER do this, because I think you
lose too much of your heat when you open the door to do it, so you're no
longer baking at the correct temperature. --Leti] Use a small, angled
metal spatula or pancake turner to transfer the cookies to wire racks to
cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Keeps several months.

Smart cookie hints:

* Unbleached flour has more gluten-forming proteins, which help to hold the
almonds in the dough and make the dough less fragile.

* When the almonds are placed lengthwise, they do not fall out of the baked
dough as readily and are more attractive when sliced.

* Mandelbrot can be tricky to cut into neat slices. If the cylinders are
too hot or completely cold, the slices tend to break. When cutting, hold
the cylinder near the end being sliced and press it gently on top. If it
is still crumbly, try popping it in the oven for another 5 minutes. Using
coarsely chopped almonds instead of whole almonds is another solution, but
they are less dramatic in appearance.

~=> this comes from the bottom of the files of Shelley Rodgers