Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Almond, Anise and Orange Biscotti

There was a chill in the air this morning and leaves are starting to drop. It’s almost fall here. Yesterday the temperature dropped into the 70’s for the first time and we had rain clouds. Clear skies today and a little more heat, but fall is definitely around the corner. When the fall weather hits there is nothing like a hot cup of coffee or tea in the late afternoon with a sweet crunchy biscotti. It’s like a grownup after school treat or an energizer before cooking dinner. How ever you look at it, it’s a delicious way to spend a few moments of your day.

Almond, Anise and Orange Biscotti
Adapted from: Dolce Italiano Desserts from the Babo Kitchen by Gina DePalma

3 ½ cups unbleached flour
1 Tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 cups whole blanched almonds
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBS anise seeds
Freshly grated zest of I large orange

Coarsely chop the almonds and set aside.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and 2 cups of sugar at medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract, anise seeds and orange zest. Add the dry ingredients, then the chopped nuts beating to make a soft dough. Chill for 2 hours or until the dough is firm enough to handle.

Pre heat the oven to 325F. Divide the dough in 5 portions. On a lightly floured surface, shape each portion of the dough into a log about 1 ½ inches in diameter and about ten inches long. Place on a greased, or silpat covered baking sheet 3 inches a part.

Bake logs until lightly golden brown and firm to the tough, about 20-25 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet, 180 degrees, half way through baking. Allow logs to cool on baking sheet and then on wire racks until they are cool to the touch. About 40 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200F. with a sharp knife slice the cooled biscotti slightly on the bias into 2/4 inch thick slices. Stand on baking sheet. Return to oven and cook 20 minutes until they are toasted, dry and crisp. Cool completely on baking sheet store in an air tight container. Makes about 4 dozen