In my quest to create delectable, delicious, delightful goodies, I flipped through some of Smidget’s gigantic cookbook collection (I’ve only been though a few so far and so many things have been marked to make!) and found something rather enjoyable-My perfect Saturday morning.
It starts off with a cup of hot coffee, my first attempt at knitting socks, which is actually going quite fantastically, and my new goody. Lemon-Anise Biscotti.
I have always loved biscotti, the crunchy twice-baked cookies remind me of sophomore year of high school when my friends and I would travel to this little greenhouse/gift shop down the street from school called Bell’s. We would sit in the greenhouse cafe and drink blended ice coffees and eat biscotti while talking about boys and classes, I think I even still have some video of those days, although I think all photo footage has disappeared. One of my friends would bring paper, pen, and eraser and would draw the five of us sitting at the table, and many an inside joke were created around those tables under the pale sun shining through the greenhouse ceiling. Since then, a few of us have become coffee fanatics and realized actually how poor the coffee was a Bell’s, and the group has stopped going. Although Smidget and I have gone there a lot over the years, especially around the holiday season to purchase more Snow Village, the times I went with my friends will forever be in my mind. Especially the time we, as a joke, bought a book on How to Be A Lady and the saleswoman told us “hope it works!” I think they got tired of having teenagers running out near the china. A friend of mine from back then suggested we go again fairly recently, and it’s too bad she’s all the way in Washington because I wanted to hug her so hard I would practically smother her just for suggesting it. Perhaps we shall journey to Bell’s again, and perhaps, this time, photo footage will survive.
Until then, all I can do is try my hand at my own biscotti, which seemed to be a bit over done but even Smidget has admitted to enjoying them. Now I’ll just have to try new flavors and include some chocolate!
- 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon minced zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon anise seed
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with non-stick spray, or my personal favorite, use a Silpat.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
Whisk the sugar and eggs in a large bowl to a light lemon color; stir in vanilla, lemon zest, and anise seed. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the egg mixture, then FOLD until the dough is just combined. (I forgot to read the fold thing, and started to whisk before realizing my mistake and switching to folding, hence the bold)
Halve the dough and turn both portions onto the prepared baking sheet. Using floured hands, quickly stretch each portion of the dough into a rough 13×2 inch loaf. Place the loaves about 3 inches apart on the baking sheet; pat each one smooth.
Bake until the loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place it on a wire rack.
Cool the loaves from 10 minutes; lower the oven to 325 degrees. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the loaves to a cutting board.
With a serrated knife, cut each loaf diagonally into 3/8 inch thick slices. Lay the slices about 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheet, cut-side up, and return them to the oven.
Bake, turning over each cookie halfway through, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and cool completely.
The biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Adapted from The New Best Recipe cookbook.