The perfect Italian cookie!
Gina DePalma's Almond, Anise and Orange Biscotti
- 3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups whole blanched almonds
- 4 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks (plus one egg white - reserved)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon whole anise seed
- Freshly grated zest of 1 large orange
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar for glaze
- Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, coarsely chop the whole almonds and set them aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the eggs, egg yolks and the 2 cups sugar on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. The mixture will look somewhat curdled.
- Beat in the vanilla, anise seed and orange zest. Beat in the dry ingredients, then the chopped nuts, to make a soft dough. Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap it in plastic and chill it for 2 hours, or until it is firm enough to handle.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease two cookies sheets with non-stick cooking spray or butter, or line them with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into five equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, shape each portion of the dough into a log, about 1½ inches in diameter and 10 inches long. Place two of the logs on one of the baking sheets, 3 inches apart, and three of the logs on the second baking sheet. In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork until frothy. With a pastry brush, glaze each log with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake the logs until they are lightly golden brown, firm to the touch and just beginning to crack slightly, about 18 to 20 minutes. Rotate the pans 180° halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 200°F. Allow the logs to cool on the baking sheet until cool they are cool to the touch, about 40 minutes. With a sharp, serrated knife, slice the biscotti, slightly on the bias, into ¼-inch wide slices. Lay the slices on the baking sheets in single layer; Return the biscotti to the oven and cook for 20 more minutes, or until the biscotti are toasted, dry and crisp. Cool the biscotti completely on the pans, then store them in an airtight container kept in a cool, dry place, for up to two weeks.