Edible Gifts Part 3 - Anise Biscotti with Almonds

Image of Almond Anise Biscotti on a saucer with a cup of coffeeThere are some things I'd rather leave to the experts; lawn care, computer maintenance and making biscotti are among them.

These twice-baked cookies have been around for centuries and most cultures seem to have their own version. They were the treat of explorers and the working-class because of their resistance to spoiling. The second baking makes the cookie a little harder, dryer and, therefore, long-lasting.

My sister, Laura, makes a biscotti that begs to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee. If you're like me, you've probably enjoyed the biscotti offered at coffee houses; those big, sweet, crumbly cookies. Well, these are different; they're much more like the traditional biscotti I found in Italy.

Laura's recipe gives a nod to that traditional dense and crunchy cookie, but appeals our modern taste with a surprisingly simple variable: slivered, not whole, almonds. Slivered almonds are smaller and are better incorporated throughout the cookie. The biscotti are still crunchy, and "dunk-able" but the almonds allow them to yield when you take a bite. The flavoring is also different than most commercially made biscotti. They have plenty of sugar but they don't strike me as particularly sweet. If you like a more traditional biscotti, or are a fan of anise, this one's worth a try.

Many thanks, sis, for sharing the recipe, providing the pictures and giving us these important tips:  When it comes to extract, use the pure stuff - anything else is an assault to biscotti everywhere.
The dough is dense, so a stand mixer will make the process much easier. 

Yield: Approx 30 cookies
Time: 2 Hours
Level: Average

13 tbsp (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp Pure Anise Extract
2 medium eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raw slivered almonds
1 medium egg (beaten)
1/4 cup turbinado sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Almond Anise Biscotti in the mixing stageCream the butter and sugar together on low speed in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add pure anise extract. Mix to blend. One at a time, add 2 of the eggs, and mix each until just blended. Scrape the bowl between egg additions to keep the mixture consistently blended throughout. From this point on, you will want to be careful not to over-mix the dough. Add flour and mix until incorporated. Add slivered almonds and mix until just distributed. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal parts.
Image of Biscotti right out of the oven
Roll into logs the length of a cookie sheet.
Beat the remaining egg. Brush the surface of the logs with the beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 300 degrees. Allow the biscotti to cool enough so you can handle them.
Slice into 1/2" slices, but keep them side by side and upright. Place on cookie sheet and separate slightly. Return to oven and bake a second time for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cookies will become crisper as they cool.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE giving edible or homemade gifts. It's so much more personal. This year I made my own cards and I had a great time doing it (I'd been too busy the last few years). I'm definitely doing it again next year and I want to make my own gifts, too.