I didn't even know Mildred Tracy, but these are her cookies! And they are the most amazing cookies, if you like biscotti, you would love these. I can't remember exactly when I first made these, it was a long time ago, my friend Renee, from a cooking forum was discussing them on a holiday thread. I emailed her for the recipe and she made me promise never ever to give out the recipe unless I included her beloved friend, Mildred Tracy's name along with the recipe. It was her recipe. So I keep that promise and I'm sharing the recipe because it's so good. And so easy.
Mildred Tracy's Mandelbrot
Source: Mildred Tracy Kern / Renée Ascher (bubbeskitchen)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 350º
Mix the first four ingredients in a large bowl.
Combine the baking powder with the flour.
Add to egg mixture 1/3 cup at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition. Dough will become stiff and tacky, sort of like taffy!
Add nuts and mix.
Place dough on lightly floured board. (Flour on hands helps)
Divide the dough into four portions and knead minimally with a little flour to prevent sticking, but don't over-work the dough.
Form each quarter into a loaf shape and place on large, ungreased cookie sheet about two inches or so apart (expect about 50% increase in size)
Bake 30 minutes and remove from oven. Immediately cut each loaf into 1/2 inch slices. Return slices, placed flat on cookie sheet to oven and bake 10 minutes more or until golden. Cool on rack.
Renée's variations: add a pinch of salt to above and somewhat less traditional, and utterly delicious:
Add 1 tablespoon orange rind or
add 1 tablespoon orange rind and 2 tablespoons poppy seeds or
add 1/2 cup of hazelnuts (filberts), skinned and smashed or
add 1/2 cup chocolate chips