Biscotti with a cup of tea with milk, a stack of books, lots of pens and pencils and usually a faint classic or just piano music in the background coming from the radio. This was me studying for exams until midnight, then dragging myself to sleep few hours until the morning. Do you relate?
Hey everyone, come and join me making this delicious super easy aromatic Italian biscotti.
Calming and warming biscotti perfumed with anise seeds and the crunch is fabulous. Decorate with ribbons of dark chocolate for an extra fancy look and calories. But seriously, they do not need it, they are just as good plain.
When I was a little girl in elementary and middle school I used to have these biscotti with teat and milk. In high school and college they accompanied my Nescafe cup most the time.
Anise biscotti is one of the most popular and warming winter biscuits in most Arabian countries. It is sold in all Egyptian bakeries year round. When you bake these babes they fill your home with the comfy aroma of anise.
Anise has this distinctive licorice taste and flavor. They pair very well with other aromatic spices like fennel in many sweet and savory dishes through North Africa. Anise seeds are popular int he region for their calming and soothing effects.
Anise tea is one of the popular drinks in the Middle East as well, it is considered one of the main drinks you have to have especially when you have cold. It is believed to help with stomach cramps and coughs. My grandma use to use anise seeds and cloves as breath re-freshener.
How to make Biscotti
- Flour: I use all purpose flour and haven't yet tried any other kind.
- Sugar: to sweeten the biscotti, but I assure you it is not overly sweet.
- Baking Powder: used as a leavening agent.
- Anise seeds: the main flavor here.
- Eggs: I've used large eggs here.
- Vanilla extract: for a background flavor note.
- Oil: I've used canola oil. I prefer oil here rather than butter.
Making Biscotti: step by step
- In large mixing bowl, add eggs, vanilla and sugar.
- Beat until you get a foamy mixture then mix in oil.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and anise seeds.
- Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until you get a firm dough.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and form the dough into a long or a rectangle. Mine happened to be like an egg :), but it is ok still tasted amazing though. Smooth the dough with oiled hands.
- Bake until edges start to be light brown. Take out of the oven and let it cool down for 10 minutes then slice.
- Place slices on cookie sheets side by side. Bake or broil until golden but watch out if you are using the broiler. Turn the slices on all sides and bake until all the sides get this golden brown color.
Let it cool on a rack. Enjoy the relaxing smell of anise with a hot cup of tea/coffee.
Other cookies to enjoy
- Egyptian Wedding Cookies, pistachio stuffed.
- Butter jam stuffed sandwich cookies.
- Cardamom flavored Linzer cookies.
- Pistachio and Sesame cookies.
You may need:
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This Nordic baking sheet is a must for your baking projects.It is super sturdy and does not bend under any circumstances.
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- 2 large eggs.
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- 1/2 cup (105g) granulated sugar.
- 1/2 cup (120ml) oil.
- 2 cups (266g) all purpose flour.
- 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder.
- 1 Tablespoon roasted anise seeds.
- Preheat oven to 350, Line a large baking sheet or two small ones with parchment paper. Note1
- In a deep bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract and sugar. Mix in oil.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and anise seeds.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with a spoon or spatula.
- Moisten your hands lightly with oil and form dough into a rectangle or a log 0.5 inch thickness.
- Bake in the middle rack for 20-25 minutes or until until the top and sides of the biscotti turns light brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool down for 10 minutes.
- Cut into 1/2 inch slices, turn slices to one side and bake for another 6-8 minutes to brown.
- Turn biscottis on the other side and repeat browning.
- Let them cool down before serving. Store in an airtight container.