Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lemon-Anise Biscotti

Well, the muffins I made the other week were a bust.  Not because they didn't taste good (they tasted fine), but because I made them on a Thursday before a long weekend.  Apparently, any snack-like baking I do must be on a Sunday to ensure that they get munched on during the week during school instead of languishing on the counter waiting for mid-morning munchies between classes.   

So on Sunday I made biscotti.

lemon-y.  biscotti-y. 
Lemon-Anise Biscotti from my New Best Recipe cookbook.  I've made biscotti before, but from my Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook and it had cranberries and nuts.  It was delicious but the main partaker of this batch insisted on anise (read: licorice) flavored biscotti.  So I had to find a new recipe.

There are three different kinds of biscotti: those with butter and egg, those with those with just egg, and those with no butter or egg.  The butter/egg ones end up cookie-like and taste wonderful at first, but the butter makes them spoil quickly; the egg ones are crunchy and get better with time; and the no butter/egg ones are described as a tooth hazard unless dunked. 

This batch was just egg and taste pretty darn good.  The only adjustment I made to the recipe was 1tsp anise seed to 1/2 tsp anise flavoring.  I'm not wild about anise so I added it a little at a time.  It balances out the lemon so neither are particularly dominant, but add flavor to what would otherwise be a bland crunch. 

Have you ever made biscotti?  It's rather like making stale cookies on purpose.  The dough is sticky and mixes up quickly.  After forming it into a little loaf, baking it for about 30 minutes, and thinking "this isn't going to make much at all!" the bar gets sliced on the diagonal for the classic biscotti shape.  At this point, it tastes like a cookie and you realize once it's sliced, it makes more than you thought.  Then it's baked again to finish drying them out like you would when you want stale bread for stuffing.  Since basically all the moisture has been cooked out, it really does help to dunk them before eating.  Really.  Don't hurt your teeth.

a mini-loaf of cookie goodness before being baked again

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