Biscotti Toscani

1/2 c. whole almonds
1/3 c. butter
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
1/4 ts almond extract
2 ts grated orange zest
2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 ts baking powder
1/8 ts nutmeg
1/4 ts salt

Place nuts in a shallow pan and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. 

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and orange zest. 

In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, mixing until blended. Cut almonds into halves or thirds and fold in. 

Divide dough in half. Place on a greased and floured baking sheet and form into two logs about 1/2 inch thick, 1 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. 

Bake in the middle of a preheated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes or until a light golden brown. Transfer from the baking sheet to a rack. Let cool 5 minutes. 

Place on a cutting board. With a serrated knife slice diagonally at a 45 degree angle about 1/2 inch thick. Lay the slices flat on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 minutes, turning them over once, to dry slightly. 

Let cool on a rack. Store in a tightly covered container.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen biscotti.