Continuing on with our month of holiday cookies. If you missed our subscriber’s bonus recipe for this month (Chocolate Mint Meringues), subscribe to the blog for free to access that recipe and receive a subscriber’s only bonus recipe every month. Biscotti is often overlooked when it comes to cookies. But, we think this crunchy cookie that pairs perfectly with coffee or tea should have a place in the holiday baking line-up. With a hint of licorice from the anise seed, a nutty flavor from almond meal and, (if desired) a drizzling of chocolate, this biscotti is ready to be noticed.
From AnkarsrumUSA recipe developer, Carmi Adams:
There are a lot of different types of biscotti out there. Some are full of dried fruit and/or nuts, some are dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles or crushed nuts. And some are simplistic, like this one, allowing a few key flavors to shine through. My heart will always belong to anise seed biscotti. It is my absolute favorite, and all others don’t even come close for me. And while I like the taste of almonds, I don’t particularly care for big chunks of nuts in biscotti, so I use almond meal instead. Those are the only two flavors I want. My husband likes a little bit of orange extract as well, so I’ve included that as an optional ingredient in the recipe.
Most traditional biscotti recipes do not use butter or oil. The fat comes from the eggs. And since you want the cookie to dry out and become crunchy, not having a lot of fat in the dough makes sense. I found that whipping the eggs and sugar until pale yellow helped a lot with the texture, ensuring that while my biscotti was crunchy, it wasn’t too dense.
If you have the nut grater attachment it works perfectly for making fresh almond meal. I love this attachment because you can make any kind of nut meal that you want: pistachio, peanut, hazelnut, etc. And it’s a lot more affordable to make your own than buying little bags of it at the grocery store. Roasted, unsalted nuts with the shells and papery skins removed are what you will want to use if making your own nut meal.
Once the eggs are whipped, the dry ingredients get slowly added in.
This dough is a little sticky once mixed up, and does not chill before baking.
For baking, a biscotti pan can be used, or just a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I like using a biscotti pan because it is an easy guideline when shaping the dough, and ensures my biscotti don’t spread out longer than I want.
First, pat into a 12 inch log.
Then gently pat down to about 12×4 inches to form a half moon shape, which will give the biscotti a traditional domed shape once baked.
Bake until top is just beginning to lightly brown. If the top cracks, don’t worry. This log will get sliced into wedges and the cracks won’t show.
Let the biscotti log cool slightly, and then slice into pieces to bake again.
Side note: If someone in your family has braces and can’t eat crunchy things like biscotti, just slice and let cool, don’t bake again. These will give you cookies that have the flavor and shape of biscotti, but are much softer and easier to eat.
I found that flipping halfway through the second bake time ensures that the bottoms are crisping up evenly with the tops. The cookies will still be a little soft once baked again, but will continue to harden and crisp up as they cool, so don’t think they need to keep baking until hard. Baking until hard results in a cookie that is near impossible to eat.
Once cool, these can be drizzled with chocolate if desired. I prefer without chocolate, so I always do half the batch drizzled and keep half plain so everyone has what they want.
I hope you enjoy my favorite type of biscotti and it finds a place in your holiday baking. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about this recipe. Happy baking!
Almond Anise Seed Biscotti
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes
3 large eggs, room temperature
228 g. (1 cup) granulated sugar
5 g. (1 tsp.) vanilla bean paste or extract
1/8 tsp. orange extract, optional
390 g. (3 1/4 cups) all purpose flour
6 g. (1 tsp.) kosher salt
5 g. (1 1/2 tsp.) anise seed, coarsely ground
8 g. (2 tsp.) baking powder
50 g. (1/2 cup) almond meal
100 g. (3.5 oz.) dark chocolate, optional
Preheat the oven to 325º F. Grease a 12 x 5.5 x 2 inch biscotti pan OR line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
Set up the Ankarsrum mixer with the plastic whipping bowl and the balloon whisks. Whip the eggs and sugar together for 4 minutes on high speed (6 o’clock). Mix in the vanilla bean paste, and if desired, the orange extract.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients, except for the chocolate, in a medium bowl.
Change out balloon whisks to single wire whisks. Turn mixer on lowest speed (12 o’clock) and gradually add in flour mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides if needed.
Form dough into a 12 x 4 inch log (flattened on the bottom) either in biscotti pan or on half sheet pan lined with parchment.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until top is just beginning to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 275º F.
Let biscotti cool for about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Place cut side down onto two half sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Bake for another 30-35 minutes, flipping biscotti over halfway through. Biscotti should feel firm and dry around the edges but still slightly soft in the middle. It will continue to harden and crisp up as it cools. Do not bake until hard.
Let cool completely.
If desired, melt half of chocolate and drizzle over biscotti. Let the chocolate set, and then flip biscotti over. Melt remaining chocolate and drizzle over other side of biscotti. Let chocolate set before eating or placing in a container.
Yield: 2 dozen
WHOLE WHEAT VERSION
-Replace all purpose flour with an equal amount of whole wheat flour. If milling at home, use hard or soft wheat.
-If desired, replace sugar with 172 g. (1 cup) Sucanat with honey, aka honey granules.
-Follow instructions above.
GLUTEN FREE VERSION
-Once eggs and sugar are whipped, add in 29 g. (2 Tbsp.) melted unsalted butter with the vanilla bean paste. This will help with the texture of the gluten free flour.
-Replace all purpose flour with 390 g. (3 1/4 cup) of a measure-for-measure/cup-for-cup gluten free flour.
-Follow remaining instructions above.