Biscotti is the Italian word for cookies. There is nothing more heavenly to me than the combined aroma of espresso coffee Anisette Toast cookies. It brings back memories of sitting at one of my favorite Italian bakeries – Pasticceria Rocco on Bleeker Street in New York. But you don’t have to go to an Italian bakery to get them because these cookies are easy to make. If you don’t like the flavor of anise, you can opt for the almond flavoring and try adding chopped almonds to the batter.
Just a note – it’s best to weigh the flour in this recipe to get a more accurate result.
ANISETTE TOAST BISCOTTI
(Viscotti all’Anice/Biscotti all’Anice)
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (420 grams)
1/4 cup cornstarch (32 grams)
2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (297 grams)
6 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 teaspoon anise oil or 1 1/4 teaspoons anise extract, or 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
Place flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until blended.
Melt shortening in a small saucepan or in a small microwavable bowl in the microwave. Set aside until slightly warm to touch but do not allow to solidify.
Place sugar and eggs in an electric mixer bowl and beat on medium speed for 12 minutes, until mixture is pale, thick, and forms a ribbon when the beater is lifted. Using a spatula, fold in flour, shortening, and anise oil until blended. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease two heavy 18-inch x 12-inch jelly roll pans and line with parchment paper. Greasing the pan prevents the parchment paper from sliding.
Using a piping bag, starting 2-inches from the side of the pan, pipe a log about 12-inches long, 2-inches wide and 1-inch thick. Pipe another log on the other side 2-inches from the side of the pan. Alternatively, you can spoon the batter out. Return the remaining batter to the refrigerator.
Use a knife or spatula to smooth out the sides as evenly as possible. Don’t worry about the top. Bake for 20 minutes, until light golden brown. Using a serrated knife, cut the cookies into 1-inch thick slices. Place on a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.
Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F. Place cookies back into the pan cut-side down and bake 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly toasted on the bottom, being careful not to burn them. Turn the cookies over and bake until the other side is lightly toasted. Remove from pan and place on cooling rack.