I’ve been trying my hand at a few different biscotti recipes along this baking journey. When I shared the last batch with my mates at the studio, our illustrious owner Adam Clarke said: Zabe, these are good. But if you ever want to make traditional Italian biscotti get some anise seed from Frank. It’s powerful stuff.
Obviously I jumped right on it. Frank came through with some amazingly fragrant and flavorful anise seed and gave me some tips on using them in the recipe. His main point: this is the good stuff; it’s strong. My main point: it made my kitchen smell absolutely wonderful! If you have any love for the smell of the licorice-y scent of anise, you will love baking these biscotti.
The flavor is nothing to laugh at either. The scent may make you think it’ll be strong, but the hint of anise flavor in these traditional Italian cookies is delectable. Give ’em a try, folks. You won’t be disappointed.
Note that apart from the tip that this crop of anise seed would be very strong, I actually followed the recipe exactly this time (shocker!). I baked up half over the weekend and took them to a party. The other half I froze for a few days so that I could share them with Adam, Frank, and the other artisans at my studio. Here’s the recipe:
- 5 cups unbleached flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of anise oil, or 2 tablespoons of anise extract
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of anise seed
- 1 cup of sliced almonds
- Sift dry ingredients together, including the anise seed. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl with a mixer beat butter, sugar, until fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time along with the anise oil or extract.
- Add flour mixture and beat on low until blended. I switched to hand mixing part way through because it thickened quite a bit, but you can continue if you have a dough hook(s).
- Divide mixture into 4 parts and form into a log measuring around 2 1/2 inches by 9 or 10 inches long.
- Place logs on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 25 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool down on a rack.
- Carefully cut them 1/2 inch thick, turn each piece on their side and bake on each side for 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
Let them cool at least 15 – 20 minutes then eat them up! Goes great with coffee, hot chocolate, or with a dollop of apricot jam. Makes around 75 biscotti depending on size.
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