Recipe: Anise Biscotti

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This is an easy recipe for delicate, aromatic biscotti. You can make it in an hour with just two bowls and a spoon. No beaters, no rolling  in messy flour and no kneading like other biscotti recipes.

I got the recipe from one of the ladies at the St Mary’s Coptic Church in South Saint Paul, MN. This church holds an annual, two-day festival late each summer. They serve wonderful homemade Egyptian meals. The women also sell traditional desserts including these anise biscotti. I bought a bag and convinced them I could not wait another year for more, so they gave this recipe to me.

The flavor is also very familiar to delicate anisette cookies you would find in any good Italian bakery. My grandmother always had anisette toast (Stella D’Oro) in her pantry. I grew up on these desserts as a kid in New York. Thirty years later I found a way to make them myself in Minnesota!

 

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp anise seeds

 

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F
  2. light grease one 10 X 8 inch baking pan

 

Assemble

  1. In a medium bowl mix the vanilla, oil, sugar and eggs. Stir until all the oil and eggs have blended.
  2. In another, larger bowl mix the flour, baking soda, salt and anise
  3. Stir in the egg-oil mixture. Mix just enough so all the ingedients are blended. Don’t over-mix.
  4. Pour into the baking pan. Spread the dough evenly to the pan’s edges.

 

Bake

  1. Bake for 27-30 minutes or until golden-brown on color. Leave the oven on. You will have a thin-looking cake.
  2. Gently slide out the cake onto a large cutting board. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Use a serrated bread knife, cut down the center, lengthwise. You will have two long, thinner cakes.
  4. Cut each of the halves into 3/4 X 4 inch pieces.
  5. Arrange the pieces, about 1/2 inch apart on a clean baking sheet.
  6. Toast the pieces for 7-10 minutes until they are golden. Watch to make sure they toast but do not burn
  7. Remove from the oven to cool.
  8. When the biscotti have completely cooled, store them in sealed container.

 

Some Notes:

These cookies can last several weeks in a closed container. They also freeze very well.

They are delicious dunked in coffee, dipped in Nutella or just eaten plain.

 

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Recipe: Coconut-Chocolate Macaroons

Coconut

 

Yesterday I found an old bag of shredded coconut. I had NO idea how old it was, but I’m sure carbon dating would indicate it was at least five years old. I think we bought it after a trip to SE Asia. With the best of intentions, we hoped to make a Cambodian dish, but for reasons I forget, we never did. We don’t use coconut very much, so it’s no surprise this settled to the bottom of the pantry baking shelf.

Coconutbag

The coconut still looked fresh and there wasn’t an expiration date, so I decided to make something from it. I found a few recipes for coconut macaroons. These called for unsweetened coconut, which this wasn’t, so I reduced the amount of sugar in the recipes and added an extra egg white to add some extra moisture to the dried coconut.

I am pleased to tell you these came out delicious. The macaroons taste all the world like Hershey’s Mounds candy bars.

The recipe is very easy to make. It took me all of fifteen minutes to assemble, another fifteen minutes to bake and ten to clean up.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs (yes, 3, even though the picture has two)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt 
  • 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Mixitup

  • Mix coconut, sweetened condensed milk, salt and chocolate in a bowl. Set aside

 

Eggs

  • Separate eggs, discard yolks. Beat with an electric blender on high until it forms a stiff meringue. 
  • Fold meringue into coconut mix.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liner, or spray with cooking spray.
  • Spoon 1.5 tablespoon-sized dollops onto the cookie sheet about two inches apart. Wet your fingers and further shape the dollops into little mounds or cones.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven.
  • Allow to cool on the baking sheet to 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  • When completely cooled, store in an airtight container. They will soften in 24 hours.

Some Notes:

These macaroons have a lot of moisture in them, so expect them to soften after a few hours in a sealed container. They’ll get a bit sticky, too, so use wax paper between layers if you plan to stack them in a cookie tin.