MOM’S ANISE AND ALMOND BISCOTTI


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Biscotti means literally, twice baked, and they are.

Recipes for variations of hard biscuits go all the way back to ancient societies.

By twice baking, the biscuits have a very long shelf life.

These are excellent dunked in coffee, tea, wine, or bourbon.

  • Yield: 25 to 30 biscotti
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: Varies but about 80 minutes including drying out
  • Oven: First Bake – 375° F 
  • Oven: Second Baking – 250° F 

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups / 14-1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1-3/4 cups / 13 ounces sugar
  • 1 tablespoon aniseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 drops anise oil
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 milliliters vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons /  1-1/2 ounces butter, melted
  • 1 cup /4-1/2 ounces whole almonds with skin, lightly toasted , cooled, and rough chopped

 

METHOD

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, aniseed, and salt and whisk to mix.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the eggs, anise oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the melted butter and whisk once more.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together into a rough dough.
  4. Add the almonds to the dough and stir them in.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and continue mixing and kneading by hand until you have a smooth dough.
  6. Chill dough, covered, 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375° F / 190° C, with the rack in the middle of the oven.
  8. Using moistened hands, halve dough and form into two loaves, approximately 14 by 3 inches / 35 by 7 centimeters, on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake until pale golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the loaves to a rack and cool 10 minutes.
  10. Immediately after removing reduce oven temperature to 250° F /  120° C.
  11. Cut loaves into slices with a serrated knife, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch / 1 to 2 centimeters thick.
  12. Arrange biscotti, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.
  13. When cool completely, store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

  1. The length of time to dry out the biscotti will vary depending on how you like them to be. Remember, biscotti, along with a few others like castagnolli, are meant to be dunked in hot coffee. The longer they go in the oven the drier and harder they get.
  2. If you have never worked with anise oil be aware that a little goes a very long way. If you prefer you can substitute anise extract for the anise oil. If you do start with 1-1/2 teaspoons / 7.5 milliliters extract and adjust it up or down from there.
  3. Regarding the almonds you can leave them whole, or chop them, or you can chop some and leave some whole. It is an entirely personal preference, I like them either way.
  4. Regarding the oven temperature you can dry the biscotti out faster by leaving the oven temperature at the same setting as the first baking, but the biscotti tend to brown a great deal more, again personal preference.

 

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