Saturday, January 29, 2011

Anise-Almond Biscotti

I think these biscotti have just the right amount of anise flavor; it really shines through, but isn't totally overpowering. Of course if you like the anise more subtle, you can always add less. They're also not too sweet, perfect for having with coffee or tea. And because they can keep for 1-2 weeks, they make a nice gift. In fact, I mailed some to my sister Randi (ahem, that's your cue to leave a comment.)
Yield: about 5 dozen

4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons aniseed (2 tablespoons ground + 1 tablespoon left whole)
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/3 cup Sambuca or Pernod (licorice liquor)
1 teaspoon anise extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted whole almonds (unsalted), roughly chopped or left whole

1.      Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.      Mix flour, baking powder, aniseed and salt in a bowl; set aside.
3.      Combine Sambuca and all the extracts in a small bowl; set aside.
4.      Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and liquid ingredients, alternating between the two (starting and ending with the dry ingredients).  Stir in the almonds until well mixed.
5.      Using moistened fingertips, divide the dough into quarters, forming each quarter into a smooth 13-inch long, 2-inch-wide log (2 per baking sheet). Bake until lightly golden and firm, about 40 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes.
6.      Reduce oven temperature to 300° F.
7.      Transfer cooled logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on baking sheets.
8.      Bake for 15 minutes. Turn biscotti over and bake just until they begin to color, about 15-20 more minutes.  Cool.  Can be made up to 2 weeks ahead (store in an airtight container at room temperature).

dough mixing
dough with almonds added
dough separated roughly into quarters
raw logs before baking
cutting baked log

Mine did get a few cracks, but that's okay (I've never
seen anyone turn down biscotti because of a crack).
ready for the second baking (I was told by my friend
Elizabeth that biscotti means "twice baked")

I have a separate coffee grinder just for herbs & spices (anise might taste nice with coffee, but I'd rather not have a cup of cumin coffee). As you can see, I've taken precautions to make sure that doesn't happen (I bought two different colors and labeled the one for herbs so there's no mix up).
ground aniseed


Randi said...

And they were delicious! I was just sitting around wishing I had a treat, and bam! A package of biscotti arrived. It was magical.

Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

Thank you for posting this! Adam ate the last one last night and I was debating whether or not to write you and ask when you were posting the recipe because we're going to have to make more!


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