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may 19, 2021
[483.1kib] The final product you end up with
Biscotti are my absolute favorite cookies of all time. And, for some reason this homemade recipe is far better than any other biscotti I've ever had, including from the Italian bakery near me (although those are very good).
As usual I'll have the brief backstory of this recipe /after/ the recipe itself so you can read it if you're interested without having to scroll past it to get to the actual recipe part.
- 2 sticks/1 cup (250 mL) of butter
- 1 cup (250 mL) of granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla extract
- 3½ cups (450 g) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons (7.5 mL) baking powder
- ¾ cup (85 g) sliced or slivered almonds
- 2–3 tablespoons (14–20 g) aniseed
- 1 cup (175 g) chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) vegetable shortening
Wow non-liquid metric cooking measurments are really annoying to convert to, I never wanted to know the density of aniseed or sliced almonds and now I regret knowing. It's 107.2 grams per cup and 112 grams per cup respectively BTW.
Making this recipe has a few tricks to help them turn out well, so I'll have the raw recipe from the card as the step number, and then have my own additional tips and tricks underneath it.
1. Soften butter, then cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
I let the butter sit out for a while to soften it, then run it in the food processor for a little bit to get it fluffed a bit, then I add the sugar, and run it until it's whipped well.
2. Beat in eggs and vanilla
I just dump the eggs right into the food processor, blend a little bit, then add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
3. Combine flour and baking powder, add to creamed mixture, mix well
You're supposed to mix the flour and baking powder before adding it in, but I just dump half the flour, the baking powder, then the rest of the flour, then mix in the food processor. The food processor mixes it well enough to where I've never run into problems.
Also, make sure to use baking /powder/, not baking /soda/! It may be a noob baking mistake, but I've ruined stuff before with it.
4. Chop almonds and mix with aniseed
Even though the recipe card says to just chop them, there's a bit more preparation to the almonds and aniseed. First I put the aniseed into this little mini food processor I have (coffee grinder on course setting works okay too) to chop it up. Adding more aniseed or grinding it more gives it more anise flavor which I like, but be aware since a lot of people don't like it. Then add in the almonds and grind them together until the almonds are finely chopped (if they're too big they mess with the dough consistency). Also, if you're eyeballing measurements, lowball the ¾ cup of almonds, going over can make them too pronounced.
5. Stir in almonds and aniseed
Make sure to mix extremely thoroughly to make sure it's consistent throughout.
6. Divide dough into thirds
I make a “log” of dough on my cookie sheet and cut it into thirds that way. I actually get a ruler or meter stick to get it cut precicely divided :P
7. Shape into 10x3 inch (25x8 cm) rectangles on greased baking sheet.
For the cookie sheet, rather than greasing it I like to use one of those nonstick oven liners cut to size. They're the best thing to line it with, nothing cooks into them and they wash easily, plus they're reusable.
When flattening the dough, I prefer to make them a little longer to go from edge to edge on the sheet rather than trying to conform precisely to the dimensions given. Try to make them as evenly shaped and consistent as possible, they'll never be perfectly even but you want it to be as close as possible. Also, make sure to give the edges a slight diagonal so the dough is a parallelogram, see picture.
[971.2kib] the dough divided into three parallelograms that go from one side of the pan to the other
8. Bake at 325°F (160°C) for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown
I go right down the middle and go for 28 minutes. I set the timer for 14 minutes, and then rotate the pan 180 degress and set it for another 14 minutes. This isn't really necessary on new-ish ovens, but I like to do it anyways to be super-duper sure that they bake evenly.
9. Remove from oven and cut into ¾ inch (2 cm) slices
Take them out of the oven, and /while they're still hot/ cut the ends off, then cut them into the slices. Cut parallel to the diagonal edges you made before. If you let them cool too much they'll just break apart rather than actually being cut nicely. Once you've cut them (or as you're cutting them) put the cookies down on their newly-cut face for the browning/second baking.
10. Place on cookie sheet cut-side down for 6 minutes at 325°F (160°C), turn and return to oven for 6 more minutes
Just do that: put them back in, and after 6 minutes flup all of them to the other newly-cut face and put them back in for 6 minutes.
I recommend leaving them on the pan to cool rather than using a cooling rack. Leaving them on the pan makes it easier to clean up the chocolate later, while a cooling rack makes it really annoying to clean.
[1.0mib] The biscotti laid out on a pan that's placed over a sink to cool
12. Melt chocolate and Crisco
I melt the crisco in the microwave until it's really hot, then add the chocolate chips and mix them in. This pre-melts the chocolate and makes it melt quicker.
Be careful not to heat the chocolate for too long or you'll ruin it. Heat it just enough to melt it thoroughly. Stirring it until it's smooth works better than heating it forever.
13. Drizzle over biscotti
Pretty self explanitory, but after you're done drizzling make sure to move the biscotti a bit and separate them. If you leave them together then the chocolate will fuse them together and you'll break all the cookies trying to separate them.
[1.01mb] The biscotti on the pan with chocolate dizzled over them
You may need to put them in the fridge for the chocolate to solidfy completely, but other than that they're done! They last for a really long time due to the double-baking, but I at least tend to eat them very quickly. A lot of people like them with coffee, but I don't like coffee so I enjoy them with tea :)
[483.1kib] The finished biscotti
Surprisingly enough, despite the side of my family this recipe came from being Italian, this isn't some recipe that's been in the family forever. My grandma said she found the original recipe in a Land O'Lakes™ seasonal recipe mailer she found at a garage sale thirty years ago (so the mailer itself is probably fifty years old). It's on the Land O'Lakes website apparently, although it's different from the old one my grandma found.
Land O'Lakes® — Almond Anise Biscotti
My grandma's made a lot of modifications to it though and it's pretty different, even from the old recipe. Also a lot of the techniques I've mentioned on here are pretty essential for the cookies to turn out properly, and yet very few recipes actually tell you about them, my grandma found them out through trial and error and showed them to me.
Now go make some delicious biscotti!
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