The temps are cool enough and the leaves have fallen enough to put Matt in the mood for all things Christmas-y. One Two of the many things I love about him is that he overflows with Christmas spirit all year round, and he loves to bake. Combine those with this basic biscotti recipe, and you've got 2 perfect companions for your yummy wintery coffee. (And a redhead who's making extra trips to the gym - which is fine b/c Matt will be there 'cooking up' a workout for me, too.)
- Daisy Janie moroccan lace teatowel pictured above -
2 C sugar
1 C unsalted butter, room temp
4 large eggs
4-1/2 C all-purpose flour
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/3 C brandy
1-1/2 t anise extract
1 t vanilla extract
1 C whole almonds, toasted (optional)
2 T anise seeds
Oven - 350 degrees.
Beat sugar & butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. In glass measuring cup, combine brandy, anise extract and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and brandy mixture alternately (a little bit each time) to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in almonds and anise seeds.
Drop dough by large spoonfuls onto large baking sheets (line with foil if you like), forming 2" wide by 13" long strips on each sheet. Moisten fingertips and smooth dough into logs. Bake until golden and firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to racks and cool completely. Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees. Transfer cool logs to work surface. Using a serrated knife, cut logs on diagonal into 3/4" thick slices. Arrange slices on baking sheets and bake until dry and slightly brown, turning every 10 minutes for about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.
Makes about 3 dozen. Can be made 2 weeks ahead - store in airtight containers at room temp or in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.