Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Perfect Cookie

If the biscotti you're familiar with need to be dunked in coffee for a full 30 seconds before eating in order to not crack your teeth, have I got news for you: not all biscotti are like that. Sure, there's a time and a place for all biscotti, but if I had to live out the rest of my days eating only one kind, I'd go with Mom's Biscotti.

They're a little soft and crumbly, not too sweet and shaped a bit like rounded rectangles, actually more like biscuits than cookies. There are no chopped bits of bittersweet chocolate, no segments of dried exotic fruits, no citrus zest. Instead, Mom's Biscotti have walnuts, anise seed, anisette or sambuca, and a hint of almond extract. They may not be much to look at, but they're so simple and honest, with just enough sweetness that they hit the spot after a meal but not so much that you can't eat one for breakfast with coffee. The perfect cookie, I'd say. I just enjoyed one on a rainy Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea. Delicious.--S

Mom's Biscotti

3 eggs
3 c flour, sifted
1 T anise or fennel seed
1 c walnuts, chopped
3/4 c sugar
1 t vanilla extract
3 t baking powder
1 t almond extract
1 T anisette or sambuca
1 stick unsalted butter

1. Beat eggs, melt butter. Combine, then add sugar, flour, baking powder and flavorings/liqueur.
2. Blend well, add nuts and seeds, and shape dough into two long, flat logs (use flour if your hands are sticky).
3. Place the logs on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet. Once cool, slice and lay slices on their sides.
5. Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until golden.

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