Biscotti are fairly common in the cookie aisles of supermarkets, bakeries, etc. but it always seems to me that a premium price is charged for what is in fact a simple to make cookie with inexpensive ingredients. Also, freshly made biscotti are fairly dry compared to other types of cookies and they will keep very well for a few months if properly stored, which means sealed away from air/moisture. You don't have to wolf down a pile of freshly made biscotti all at once to enjoy them. Thus I decided to include a biscotti recipe in Food Nirvana so my readers can enjoy biscotti without paying ripoff prices.
Anise Biscotti can be delicious and I found this recipe on the Internet at AllRecipes.com. It was given the highest five star rating so I expect it to be great, but I have yet to try the recipe. I will report back as soon as I do. The best part is that once you have a good basic biscotti recipe you can vary the flavoring ingredients easily, like using chocolate chips or various nuts or even other flavor concentrates like lemon or coconut instead of anise extract. I'm getting hungry just thinking about the many varieties!
2 cups of white sugar
1 cup of butter, softened
4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of brandy
1 1/2 teaspoons of anise extract
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of sliced blanched almonds
2 tablespoons of anise seed
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Beat the sugar and butter with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine the brandy, anise extract and vanilla in a small bowl or measuring cup.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
Alternately add the dry ingredients and the brandy mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
Remove the bowl from the electric mixer and stir the almonds and the anise seed into the batter.
Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, forming two, 2" wide x 13" long strips on each sheet. Smooth the dough into logs with moistened fingertips.
Bake about 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Place the cookie sheets on racks and cool the biscottis completely.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF.
Cut the cooled logs on the diagonal into 3/4" thick slices using a serrated edge knife on a cutting board. Then put the slices onto the cookie sheets.
Bake for about 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes, until the biscottis are dry and slightly brown. Remove them to a rack and let them cool to room temperature.
Store the biscottis in an airtight container.