My Mother's Best Biscotti

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Biscotti, which literally means twice-baked, is a traditional Italian cookie that’s named after its baking process. These cookies are actually baked twice and made purposely dry and hard because they are meant to be dunked in a drink, such as coffee, tea, or wine. This particular biscotti is one of my mother’s signature cookies and the best biscotti recipe ever. It’s perfectly flavored with almonds, anise and vanilla. 




 

Ingredients

  •     2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •     1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  •     1 cup granulated sugar
  •     1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  •     2 large eggs
  •     2 teaspoons anise flavoring or black anise seeds
  •     1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •     1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  •     1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped almonds (toasted)
     



 

Instructions

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Sift the flour, black anise seeds (if using seeds instead of flavoring), baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Step 3: Beat butter, sugar and orange zest until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Step 4: Beat in eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, almond extract and anise flavoring (if not using the seeds).

Step 5: Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in almonds.

Step 6: Divide dough into 2 equal portions, about 15 ounces each.

 

Step 7: Form dough into two logs about 1-1/2" wide by 14" long. Put on a baking sheet about 3" apart. 

Step 8: Brush the top of each log with egg whites.  

Step 9: Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Step 10: Remove logs from oven and reduce oven temperature to 250°F.

Step 11: Allow cookie logs to cool and become firm for 2 or 3 minutes after removal from oven before attempting to slice it, and use a very sharp knife to prevent the fragile slices from breaking. Cut logs into 1/2" slices, and put the cut-side up on baking sheets. Instead of a baking sheet, my mom turns a cookie rack upside down and places the cookies on the rack. 

Step 12: Bake until dried, 30 to 40 minutes. If using a baking sheet, turn cookies over after 15-20 minutes. If using the cookie rack, it's not necessary to turn the cookies over.

 




 

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