The Great Italian Cookie Caper – Part Deux

By jove, I think I’ve done it! After weeks – no – months, of dutiful testing, I’ve come up with my own personal perfect anise biscotti. This has been very hard work. I have the 5 extra pounds and content smile to prove it. Of course, it has been well worth the effort. I could stay inside and eat these biscotti all day long. Although, eventually I’d have to leave to get ingredients to make more.

I’m sure my diligent taste-testers will also agree, these take the cake, or cookie, rather. Next time I visit my favorite Italian bakery in Queens, I’ll have to compare their biscotti to mine. You can see in the picture, that an earlier version of these cookies didn’t quite stack up to the mighty bakery biscotti.

Anise Cookies
an early attempt: big bakery cookie vs. my little cookie

Anise Biscotti
Makes 25-30 cookies
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. anise seed
1 1/2 tsp. anise extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 oz. brandy
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Line 9x13x2 baking dish with aluminum foil. I use my favorite lasagna pan.
3. Grease foil with butter.
4. Using mortar & pestle, grind anise seed finely, set aside.
5. Combine brandy, anise extract and vanilla, set aside.
6. Cream butter and sugar.
7. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
8. Add vegetable oil and stir to combine.
9. Add brandy mixture. Mix well.
10. Add flour, baking powder and salt.
11. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
12. Add ground anise seed.
13. Pour batter into prepared pan.
14. Cook 30+ minutes until golden and toothpick comes out clean.
15. Remove from pan and peel off foil.
16. Let cool on wire rack.
17. Cut in half lengthwise, and then cut cookies approx. 1 inch thick.
18. Place cookies on baking sheet and cook an additional 10-20 minutes, or until golden on each side.

Anise Biscotti

The only thing that might still need work is the shape. I think if I used two smaller loaf pans instead of one giant pan, then I wouldn’t have to cut them in half lengthwise and they’d have a nice domed shape. I’ll try that next time and let you know if it works.

Related posts:
The Great Italian Cookie Caper – Part I
Who ses-a-me can’t make cookies?
The Great Italian Cookie Caper – the beginning


One response to “The Great Italian Cookie Caper – Part Deux”

  1. Sophia Avatar

    I always buy biscotti from the grocery store, but I’ve never made it. I’ve always been a little intimidated by it. Yours looks amazing. Thanks for sharing. In terms of Italian desserts, I usually stick to making Italian Creme Cake: