Lemon-Anise Biscotti

For biscotti that are crisp but not too hard, we use whole eggs as the only source of fat in our recipe.

Lemon-Anise Biscotti
MAKES about 48 biscotti
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS A Sicilian specialty, biscotti should be crunchy (but not tooth-cracking) and full of flavor—perfect with an afternoon cup of coffee. After testing recipes that used whole eggs, egg yolks, and egg whites, we discovered that whole eggs created the best crisp texture. Although some recipes called for an additional fat such as butter or oil, we found that these only muddled the flavors of the cookies. We opted to include lemon zest for subtle citrus notes and anise seeds for their delicate licorice flavor. Because biscotti are baked twice—once in loaves, then again after the loaves are sliced—using a full tablespoon of zest and anise seeds was necessary so that the flavors would come through even after the long stay in the oven.

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon anise seeds
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Using ruler and pencil, draw two 13 by 2-inch rectangles, spaced 3 inches apart, on piece of parchment paper. Grease baking sheet and place parchment on it, marked side down.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl. In large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs together until pale yellow. Whisk in lemon zest, anise seeds, and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until just combined.
3. Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, form each half into 13 by 2-inch rectangle, using lines on parchment as guide. Using rubber spatula lightly coated with vegetable oil spray, smooth tops and sides of loaves. Bake until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.
4. Let loaves cool on sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to cutting board. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Using serrated knife, slice each loaf on slight bias into ½-inch-thick slices.
5. Arrange cookies cut side down on sheet about ½ inch apart and bake until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes, flipping cookies halfway through baking. Let cool completely on wire rack before serving. (Biscotti can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month.)

VARIATIONS
Honey-Lavender Biscotti
MAKES about 48 biscotti
Dried lavender blossoms can be found in spice and herbal stores. If you can’t find the lavender blossoms, this recipe makes very good honey biscotti.
2¼ cups (11¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup (4⅔ ounces) sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 tablespoon dried lavender (optional)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Using ruler and pencil, draw two 13 by 2-inch rectangles, spaced 3 inches apart, on piece of parchment paper. Grease baking sheet and place parchment on it, marked side down.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in small bowl. In large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs together until pale yellow. Whisk in honey, orange zest, lavender, if using, and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until just combined.
3. Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, form each half into 13 by 2-inch rectangle, using lines on parchment as guide. Using rubber spatula lightly coated with vegetable oil spray, smooth tops and sides of loaves. Bake until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.
4. Let loaves cool on sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to cutting board. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Using serrated knife, slice each loaf on slight bias into ½-inch-thick slices.
5. Arrange cookies cut side down on sheet about ½ inch apart and bake until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes, flipping cookies halfway through baking. Let cool completely on wire rack before serving. (Biscotti can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month.)

Spiced Biscotti
MAKES about 48 biscotti
If desired, substitute 3 whole eggs for the 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks in this recipe.
2¼ cups (11¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Using ruler and pencil, draw two 13 by 2-inch rectangles, spaced 3 inches apart, on piece of parchment paper. Grease baking sheet and place parchment on it, marked side down.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pepper together in small bowl. In large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs and egg yolks together until pale yellow. Whisk in vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until just combined.
3. Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, form each half into 13 by 2-inch rectangle, using lines on parchment as guide. Using rubber spatula lightly coated with vegetable oil spray, smooth tops and sides of loaves. Bake until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.
4. Let loaves cool on sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to cutting board. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Using serrated knife, slice each loaf on slight bias into ½-inch-thick slices.
5. Arrange cookies cut side down on sheet about ½ inch apart and bake until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes, flipping cookies halfway through baking. Let cool completely on wire rack before serving. (Biscotti can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month.)

Making Biscotti

1.MAKE STENCIL Draw two 13 by 2-inch rectangles, spaced 3 inches apart, on piece of parchment paper. Place parchment marked side down on greased baking sheet.

2.SHAPE DOUGH After preparing dough, divide in half and with floured hands form each half into loaf on parchment-lined sheet, using lines as guide.

3.SLICE COOKIES Transfer partially baked loaves to cutting board. Using serrated knife, slice each loaf on slight bias into ½-inch-thick slices.

4.BAKE AGAIN Space slices, with 1 cut side down, about ½ inch apart on baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes, flipping cookies halfway through baking.

 

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