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Anise Cookies

Biscotti D'Anici
Biscotti is the generic Italian word for “cookie”. The literal translation is “twice cooked”, and in this case the cookies are baked in long flat loaves, then sliced and baked again until dry. You can vary the flavorings for biscotti. Orange and almond extracts are popular. Because these cookies are dry, they will keep a long time. Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients

1 cup unblanched whole almonds

3 1/4 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted

2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 1/3 tablespoons (1/3 cup) unsalted butter or solid vegetable shortening

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons anise extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the almonds on a cookie sheet and, stirring once, toast for about 7 minutes, until golden. Remove the nuts to a bowl and let cool. (Leave the oven on.)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and rub the mixture between your palms until it is the texture of coarse cornmeal.

In a large bowl, with a sturdy whisk or electric mixer, beat the eggs well. Beat in the sugar, then beat in the anise extract. Add the almonds and work them into the dough, using your hands or a wooden spoon.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide the dough in half and place on the cookie sheet. Shape into two 12 by 3-inch loaves.

Bake the loaves for 25 minutes, or until puffed and firm to the touch. Remove the loaves from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

Cut each loaf on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices on their sides on the cookie sheets and bake for an additional 7 minutes on each side, or until toasted.

Cool the biscotti completely on racks. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for several weeks.

This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito.

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