Since his return to his native Northeast Ohio, chef Dante Boccuzzi has taken the Cleveland-Akron dining scene by storm. He first opened Dante in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood and later Ginko at the same location. The D.C. Pasta Co. in Strongsville, and dba or Dante Boccuzzi Akron, followed. His next venture will be A Tavola in Tremont.

 This is a family recipe that I make at Christmas.

 CORN AND CARDAMOM BISCOTTI

 2½ cups whole almonds

 1 stick butter

 2 cups sugar

 4 eggs

 1 tbsp. ground cardamom

 4 cups all-purpose flour

 1 cup cornmeal

 3 tbsp. baking powder

 2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together. Slowly stir in the eggs.

In a separate large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, including the nuts.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well blended; the dough will be thick and sticky.

Place half of the dough on a 10-inch-by-15-inch rimmed cookie sheet that has been coated with nonstick baking spray. Form a slightly rounded 4-by-12-inch loaf that is about ¾-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining dough on a second cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees. Allow the loaves to cool for 20 to 25 minutes, then cut into ½-inch thick slices. Lay the slices cut side down on the cookie sheets and bake for 15 more minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake another 15 minutes or until very crisp. Allow to cool, then store in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 dozen.