This is the story of how The Single Baker began.
It all started when I was having coffee with my dear good friend Jean and enjoying our usual catch up. I love my coffee and occasionally a biscotti, cookie, or shortbread with it. This particular time I ordered biscotti and bitched about it with every dunk. It just wasn’t good and didn’t have that homemade taste. At this moment Jean remembered that she makes biscotti for the Holidays and would pass along the recipe for me to try. The moment I received the recipe I had the urge to try to recreate one of my favorite treats.
The recipe that Jean had emailed me was for her favorite hazelnut Biscotti. I rushed out right away and purchased the expensive little nuts. I toasted and then shelled them (real fun, if your idea of fun is a lot of time and work) and was ready to go. Here comes the kicker, in my excitement to try the recipe, I accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder. I didn’t realize this mistake until they were finished and I tasted the salty biscuits. I was confused and my pride was hurt. I spent a lot of time and money to have it fail. I was baffled. “How could I mess up what seemed so simple” I thought as I sat there trying another piece hoping by some miracle it was going to taste better. It didn’t.
So I took it to my friend Sonia Bravo (yes thats her real name) who is an amazing pastry chef. I adore, respect, and look up to Sonia… well, she’s only about five foot so perhaps look up to is the wrong phrase, but you get the picture. She told me without hesitation what the problem was and schooled me on trying the Basic recipe out first before adding or change the original. Later on that night she was laughing only because she had never seen me so emotional before, especially over a mistake I made by not following and checking over directions.
I was now on a mission to make biscotti the way I enjoyed them and that was old school Italian style with Anise.
Heres the Recipe. Enjoy! And please leave feedback if you try the recipe!
1/4 l/b butter
1/2 cup sugar*
2 teaspoons ground anise
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking POWDER
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional: You can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla or any other extract as desired
- Preheat oven 350°F
- Cream the butter. Add the sugar mix until smooth and creamy.
- Beat the eggs until smooth with sugar and butter mixture.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together.
- Add to the Butter mixture and combine just until mixed.
- Place on floured board and divide into two rolls about 1 1/2″ wide and around 10″ long.
- Place the rolls on a baking sheet. Set apart.
- Place on top thirds of oven for 25-30 mins .
- Take out and let cool for 5min.
- Slice diagonally and place back in the oven for 10 mins each side.
- Remove from tray and let cool on rack.
*the original recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugar, I used less.
You can play with shape of your biscotti as you wish. I still never get it perfect but the flavors and the crunch are amazing. Speaking of flavor, I personally love anise so I tend to be somewhat heavy handed. The choice is yours to put as must as you see fit. The above measurement gives you just enough anise punch even for the anti.
1. If you want to add nuts you would toast them first, let them cool down and then chop them and fold the nuts in at the end when batter is mixed together.
2. Another little trick I use is to whisk the dry ingredients together so that they are evenly distributed. You will see that technique repeated in many of my recipes.
I cant wait to see and read about your biscotti. And remember to have fun!
Recipe adapted “The Fanny Farmer Cookbook”
Slice and bake for 10mins each side (not pictured). Let cool on rack.
Enjoy whenever. The great thing about biscotti is they last a long time, if you can handle not eating them all at once, that is!