This morning my mouth wanted Biscotti for breakfast! Guess what? No Biscotti in the freezer. That means I’m gonna have to bake! I haven’t baked Biscotti for months, even though Laurie asked me to post the recipe months ago! Okay – let’s just kill two with one here: I get my craving satisfied and Laurie gets her how to:
Biscotti with Anise & Honey
3/4 cup whole almonds with skins on and
1/4 cup whole pistachios on a cookie sheet and lightly toast
as the oven pre-heats to 350° F.
My oven beeps when it reaches the baking temp. If yours does not –
watch the nuts closely. You want lightly toasted,
and the oils will burn quickly and taste bitter.
1 stick cold butter, cut in cubes
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons Brandy
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs mixing until well incorporated.
2 Tablespoons honey. Mixture should look lemony and creamy
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Coarsely chop nuts:
sprinkled with about
1 Tablespoon flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Anise seeds, lightly crushed.
Coating the nuts and seeds with a small amount of flour will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the bowl, giving a better distribution throughout the batter. Fold the nuts and Anise into the batter.
Line a large baking sheet with two pieces of foil and divide the dough in half. With slightly moistened hands form two loaves. Try for a uniform thickness end to end and a smooth surface overall. Bake until pale golden – about 30 minutes.
Using the foil to lift them, carefully transfer the loaves to racks to cool for about 5 minutes. When you can comfortably handle them, peel away the foil and continue cooling for another 10 minutes or so.
The cookies are fragile at this point. Handle them carefully. Using a serrated knife, cut the loaves into 3/4 inch slices and arrange them cut side down on a clean baking sheet. Return to the oven for another 20 to 25 minutes or until they are golden brown and crisp.
Carefully transfer the baked cookies to racks to cool completely.
Meanwhile, and this is purely optional, and for those of us who are never satisfied with good enough, make a dark chocolate ganache to drizzle over the cookies by melting 1 cup of dark chocolate pieces in 1 cup of heavy cream. You can fiddle with tempering the chocolate the right way, or simply use my quick (and definitely not correct) microwave method: put the chocolate and cream in a microwave safe glass container and heat on high for one minute. Take it out and stir it thoroughly. Repeat this step twice more. 3 minutes total. The ganache should be ‘tempered’ perfectly: shiny and smooth.
Place the cooled cookies, still on the racks in the baking sheet again and drizzle tablespoons of the liquid chocolate across them…your taste says how much or how little. Then put the whole thing in the freezer, just as it is for an hour or two. When they’re frozen solid you can package them and they’ll keep for a couple of months…IF they last that long.
The whole recipe yields about 24 cookies if you make them large. And you’ll invest about two and a half hours including cooking time.
With a good cup of espresso or a cappuccino they are SO worth it!