Friday, January 1, 2010

Italian Biscotti

I had not made biscotti before - for some reason it just sounded complicated. Having to bake something twice - who needs that.

But I do love biscotti, and I knew it would make a nice gift, so I gave it a try. The first recipe I tried I didn't like very much. It used vegetable oil instead of butter. That's just wrong. Cookies require butter - and lots of it.

This recipe turned out great. The cookies are buttery and the texture is perfect. I found that on the second baking I had to cook them longer than the recipe indicates in order to get the right color. It also makes a ton of cookies - I have frozen quite a lot of mine.

12 ounces butter
1 3/4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon anise extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 ounces chopped almonds

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F ( 165 degrees C ).

2.In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time; beat until fluffy. Stir in the anise and vanilla extracts. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; Add them to the egg mixture along with the chopped almonds. Stir with a spoon and as the dough comes together, Knead by hand. (I did not do this - in fact I only just now noticed that the recipe said to do this. I used my Kitchen Aid to mix everything up.)

3.Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll each piece into a log about 15 inches long. Place logs onto cookie sheets, 2 to a sheet, the long way. Flatten the logs out until they are about 3 inches wide with a slight hump going down the middle.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, loaves should be firm.

5. Cut the loaves into diagonal slices 1/2 inch wide, place the slices onto the cookie sheets and return to the oven. Toast on one side, then turn them over to do the other side. This will take about 7 to 10 minutes. (I thought mine took a bit longer - maybe around 12 minutes)



Donna said...

Hi Wendy! Happy New Year! I myself have been wanting to try making Biscotti. Yours looks great! Would love to have a piece of that with my coffee! I have a recipe I received at my wedding shower TWO years ago for Mondel Bread which I call Jewish Biscotti. Thanks for posting your experience! Maybe now I will give it a try!

Mom (Suzie) said...

Hi Donna. You should give the recipe a try. They are the best biscotti I've ever had. The texture is perfect. I'm going to ask Wendy to make more for me and this time with anise seed as well as the extract. I'd like to have 4 or 5 seeds per piece. I love the explosion of anise flavor when I bite into one--accompanied with coffee, of course. For people who don't like anise, the flavor of the almonds and orange zest is great!