Lemon-Anise Biscotti

Verdict: A good recipe that is easy to make, tasty and the final product comes out looking pretty professional. I would recommend this!

lemon anise biscotti batter
Eggs make it yummy!

I have never really made many pastries, but I was thumbing through my favorite cook book, The New Best Recipes from Cook’s Illustrated, and came across a recipe for Biscotti that looked both easy and yummy. Biscotti are traditional Italian anise/licorice flavored cookies. They are hard because they get baked twice. This, along with their assertive flavor, makes them ideal for dipping in coffee and wine.

You’ll often see Biscotti going for about $2 in coffee shops. After you give this recipe a try you will realize that this is ridiculous. Biscotti doesn’t require a lot of work or fancy ingredients and one batch makes a lot of cookies.

lemon anise biscotti, shaped

Notes:

  • The eggs are the only moisture in the recipe. Mine were pretty old and had probably lost a little water so the dough came out drier that it should have been and didn’t need to be cooked for the full amount of time
  • Anise is strong and a little goes a long way. If you are not a fan of licorice flavor you can probably get away with adding less than 1 Tbs.
  • If you plan on eating the Biscotti plain and not dipping them in coffee you should bake them for less time during the second bake. Two or three minutes on each side should be enough to put a crust on the cut side but not long enough to dry them out all the way. This means that they will not last as long, but they will be so tasty that it won’t be much of a problem.
  • lemon anise biscotti after the second baking
    After the first cooking
  • One last, and important note, don’t mix the dough/batter too much. The more the batter gets mixed, the stronger the matrix of flour proteins become. This results in a chewier, tougher texture and we are going for something a little more delicate. Mix the wet and dry stuff together and blend them and they have just begun to combine… and then STOP! Don’t worry about getting things perfectly combined and smooth, there can be lumps and a little unincorporated flour

Lemon-Anise Biscotti

From: The New Best Recipe

A Sicilian specialty, this recipe produces a relatively hard biscuit — perfect with an afternoon cup of coffee.

Makes 3-4 dozen

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon anise seed
  1. Sift first three ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk sugar and eggs in a large bowl to a light lemon color; stir in next 3 ingredients. Sift dry ingredients over egg mixture, then fold in until dough is just combined.
  3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Halve dough and turn each portion onto an oiled cookie sheet covered with parchment. Using floured hands, quickly stretch each portion of dough into a rough 13-by-2-inch log, placing them about 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Pat each dough shape to smooth it. Bake, turning pan once, until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes.
  4. Cool the loaves for 10 minutes; lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. cut each loaf diagonally into 3/8-inch slices with a serrated knife. Lay the slices about 1/2-inch apart on the cookie sheet, cut, side up and return them to the oven. Bake, turning over each cookie halfway through baking, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer biscotti to wire rack and cool completely. Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for at least 1 month.

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