1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
6 ounces (1 1/2 cup) whole almonds
4 ounces butter (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup Praline
Praline: Butter a 12" circle on a sheet cake pan or granite. Heat the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan until the sugar melts swirling the pan to make sure the sugar granules dissolve. Do not stir the with a spoon!
Cover the pan and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Uncover and cook until the syrup begins to turn brown. Take it off the heat when it is a midium tan color and add the nuts. Shake the pan until all the nuts are coated with caramel. Turn the praline out onto the buttered area.
When the praline is cool and hardened, break it into pieces for storage. Chop 1 cup of praline into 1" pieces for the following recipe.
Biscotti: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a bake sheet with a non-stick surface or butter and flour it..
Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until lightly fluffed, at least 2 minutes. Work in the eggs one at a time . Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the extract with the machine running.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this dry mixture to the egg mixture in three installments. Mix only until just blended. Fold the praline pieces.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust the dough with flour and divide it in half. Shape the dough into 2 rectangles: 2" wide and 1" high and 12" long. Bake for 25 minutes, until firm, lightly browned, with an internal temperature of 200 degrees..
Lift the loaves out onto a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, slice the log 1/2" thick at a 45 degree angle and place slices on their sides on the sheet pan. Bake another 10 minutes, turning them once. Cool completely on a rack before sealing in a jar or tin and storing.