January 17, 2019

Almond Anise Biscotti


One of my colleagues recently did me a huge favor at work and as a thank you I wanted to bake something to show my appreciation.  I vaguely recalled her mention in passing that she loved a good biscotti so that's what I set out to make.  Lucky for me I'd been hankering for an excuse to make these Almond Anise Biscotti I saw posted on Serious Eats a few weeks ago.  The recipe comes from Stella Parks who is one of my baking Yodas.  I seriously love everything she makes!  



Anise is not a spice I normally gravitate towards in baking but in this case the hint of licorice flavor it provides to the biscotti is spot on - just subtle enough and not overpowering.  A technique in this recipe that I'm definitely going to steal going forward is how the biscotti is shaped.  The dough is rolled in to a log that extends to the full length of a half sheet pan.  Doing this I think helps to ensure even thickness in the baked cookie. 


To gild the lily even further I ended up dipping some of the biscotti in bittersweet chocolate.  I tried tempering the chocolate using the seeding method but I'm not too convinced of how they turned out.  They still taste great though!

Almond Anise Biscotti

10 ounces (285g) all-purpose flour
8 3/4 ounces (245g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
5 1/4 ounces (145g) whole almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
2 1/4 teaspoons whole anise seeds, roughly chopped (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, chopped toasted almonds, and chopped anise seed. Mix on low until homogeneous, then add eggs and vanilla; continue to mix just long enough to form a soft dough. 

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly to bring dough together into a ball, then shape into a roughly 8-inch log. Transfer dough log to a parchment-lined half-sheet pan and continue rolling the log by hand until it is approximately 16 inches long. Gently flatten dough by hand until log is about 4 inches wide and just over 1/2 inch thick.

Bake dough until puffed and firm to the touch and just beginning to brown around the very edges (though still pale overall), about 25 minutes. Cool directly on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board and let cool 5 minutes more. While dough is still warm, use a long, thin, and very sharp serrated knife to cut log at a slight angle into about 25 pieces, each just over 1/2 inch wide.

Arrange biscotti, cut sides up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet and continue baking until dry to the touch and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Flip biscotti over and continue baking for another 12 minutes. It's normal for the timing to vary according to the biscotti's size and thickness, as well as differences in oven temperature and airflow, so keep a close eye on them and adjust the bake time as needed.

Cool biscotti to room temperature before serving. If desired, dip in tempered chocolate. With or without chocolate, the biscotti will keep for about 3 months in an airtight container at cool room temperature.

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