Sunday, May 18, 2008

Chocolate Anise Biscotti


I don't consider myself a coffee drinker, per se. What I mean is, I'm not a heavy coffee drinker, somebody who consumes 10-12 cups a day. Uh-oh. I'm what you maybe call a light coffee drinker. One good cup a day, preferrably for breakfast, is enough for me.

Why am I talking a about coffee? It's because I have here something which is best enjoyed when accompanied with a good cup of coffee - regular or espresso. It could also be served as dessert, accompanied by a good italian wine, vin santo.

For those of you who don't know, "biscotti" (singular, biscotto) is an Italian word meaning, twice baked. The Italians during the medieval period baked their biscuits twice so that they could be stored for long periods of time, which was especially important during journeys and wars.

Now the transition from medieval Latin times to the modern period and how the biscuits then became cookies now, I have no idea. I will tell you about it when I'll find the history. But for now, I am thankful to whoever came up with this ingineous idea.

Being twice-baked, biscotti are crisp, and with their elongated shape, they are perfect for dunking in your coffee, or wine, whichever the case may be.

Biscotti is one of my favorite go-to sweets. It is simple to make - almost fool proof. There are so many variations to the flavors of this cookie, but what I prefer the most is the traditional one -- biscotti with chocolate and anise. And this is what I have here for you. Hope you try it.


The cookie logs after the first bake

The biscotti cooling off after the 2nd bake

Chocolate Anise Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground anise seed
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl to blend.
4. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Add the ground anise seed and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Form the dough into a 16-inch-long, 3-inch-wide log. Transfer the log to the
prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.
6. Place the log on the cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices.
7. Arrange the cookies cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake the cookies until pale golden, about 15 minutes.
8. Transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.


Dhanggit said...

im not a coffee drinker like you..but i wouldnt say no to biscotti..i love them!! thanks for sharing the recipe!!

Jescel said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.. and you betcha.. biscotti is good with or without coffee! hehhee..

Hetal said...

Biscotti looks delicious..Would love to see u on my blog.

Anonymous said...

hey jes. finally got to check it out again. your pics are excellent. did you splurge on a new cam? you're getting better. i've made bread twice here - but would like to find others. will try the biscotti recipe though. girls should love it! don't know if I can find anise - i'm jonesing for cilantro! xo

Jescel said...

holly, you can use vanilla instead (beans if you can find), or orange zest too...

Hendersonville Epicurean said...

I can just smell the Anise! The Biscotti look great. I love a good cuppa and biscotti to dip are a big plus.

Would you believe my son, when pretty young, wanted to leave Santa a latte and biscotti? We told him Santa would love that!

Jescel said...

that's funny, HE. hmnn... where did your son get that, I wonder? :o)

CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta said...

I've grown up on biscottis but never baked them. These look divine and I can't wait to try them!!
PS - how do you get such great close-up shots? I am still learning :)