It’s hard to resist these anise biscotti.
As everyone knows by know, biscotti in Italian means “twice cooked”, once raw in loaf form and then sliced and baked again to give them that wonderful crunch. These anise biscotti have a wonderful licorice flavor that’s tempered with a slight kick of lemony goodness. Gosh, I sound like a commercial. My advise to you…after they’ve cooled and they’re ready to eat, grab yours first as they don’t last long on the table. I should have made a double batch!
Biscotti began life as banquet food for the rich in the Middle Ages but over time became an everyday treat for the masses. They are hard and crunchy but delicious dunked in coffee, vin santo or wine. There are many possible ingredients (spices, nuts, fruit zest) in biscotti and even the name changes. They are known as cantucci in Tuscany and often contain almonds as in the picture below. I photographed these cantucci through a pastry shop window in Florence. They spoke to me.
To make this version, the eggs, yokes and sugar are beat into a froth in a standing mixer. I show a picture of my KitchenAid in action because I rarely use this machine so seldom. It scares me. But anyway, it’s great for whipping up the froth you need to get these biscotti started.
After incorporating the rest of the ingredients, knead the dough on a floured surface.
Shape the dough into two 12″ x 3″ logs. Lay some parchment paper on a baking sheet then position the logs onto the sheet. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, remove from the oven and let them cool. They’ll look like the picture below.
Cut the logs, on the diagonal, into 3/4″ to 1″ slices. As you can see, my diagonal cutting leaves a lot to be desired. Lay them on the baking sheet and “twice cook” them for another ten minutes.
Remove from the oven and let them cool. Turn your back to everyone around and sneak the first two for yourself. Brush off any crumbs on your person, place the rest of the “anise biscotti no one can resist” on a platter and serve with a smile. They will disappear!
Yield: 30 biscotti
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons Sambuca
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups flour, sifted
- extra flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, beat the whole eggs and the yolks with the sugar until ingredients are well blended.
- Add the melted butter, Sambuca, baking powder, lemon zest and salt and mix well.
- Slowly fold in the flour until a bread-like dough forms.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead well until smooth.
- Form the dough into two 12-inch long logs.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven and let the logs cool for about 10 minutes.
- Slice the logs into 3/4" slices, place them back on the baking sheets on their sides and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let the biscotti cool before serving.