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Biscotti bunny or duck or chick; Italian-style dunking breads are easy to make into animal shapes.

Fashioned after Italian biscotti, these coarse-textured baking powder breads are made especially for dunking. Firm and dry, they're delicious sponges for coffee or hot spiced milk.

Their amusing animal shapes make them a perfect centerpiece for a casual spring breakfast. Guests break off chunks of bread to dip in milk or coffee. For a variation on cafe au lait, adults might want to mix equal parts of the milk with chicory coffee. Serve with fruit and Easter eggs.

The buttery dough is easy to handle even for young bakers. You just press it to an even thickness directly on a greased baking sheet, then pat into the shape you like (see pictures above for suggestions). For eyes and whiskers, save small bits of dough to roll into balls or ropes and accent with whole cloves; texture the surface by slashing or pinching it. Try to keep the finished shape close to the same thickness so it will bake evenly.

The bread goes together quickly. It tastes best when freshly baked but can be made up to a day ahead. Store it airtight at room temperature.

Easter Biscotti

To eat, break off chunks to dip in hot spiced milk or coffee. 3 large eggs About 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon grated orange peel 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder Whole cloves (optional)

In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 of the eggs and 1 egg yolk (set aside white) with 3/4 cup sugar until thick and pale yellow. Beat in butter; add vanilla and orange peel. In another bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix until well blended. Scrape dough onto a greased 14- by 17-inch baking sheet and press into 1/2-inch-thick animal shape.

To add decorative details, roll small pieces of dough to make balls or ropes, and apply on dough base. Pinch surface with fingers to give texture. Deeply slash or score dough for definition. Push whole cloves into the dough for accent. Brush dough with reserved egg white and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake bread in 350 [deg.] oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on pan about 5 minutes; transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 1 large bread; serves 10 to 12.

Spiced Milk

In a 3-to-4-quart pan, combine 2-1/2 quarts milk, 3 strips pared orange peel (orange part only, each strip about 4 in. long), and 2 cinnamon sticks (each 3 to 4 in. long). Cook, uncovered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot (do not boil). Serves 10 to 12.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1986
Words:453
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