What? You thought I only baked with chocolate? Mostly, but not today. This week’s tasty cookie is brought to you by sesame and anise and matches perfectly with that afternoon cup of tea or coffee.
Biscotti is one of the easiest cookies to make and that it lasts forever in a tin is a terrific benefit. If they do need a refresh, the biscotti can go into a 300°F oven for five-ish minutes and come out just like new. Also, the longer they sit in a tin, the more intense the flavor becomes.
The best place to score reasonably priced sesame seeds is in the Imported Food aisle of the grocery (not the spice section). There you can usually find 8 ounce jars of white and black sesame seeds available for a reasonable price. To keep the seeds fresh, refrigerate the jar. Nuts.com has sesame seeds in their GF section. Wherever you purchase them, be sure to sniff the sesame seeds before using them because they can turn rancid easily. They should smell nutty, but if they smell like really bad oil then they’re no good. They last longer refrigerated or even frozen.
Two tricks to making great biscotti. First, don’t be tempted to add more flour even if the dough seems a little sticky at first. Just get your fingers wet (cold water) and the dough won’t stick to you, and it smooths out into the log (shape) perfectly. Second, don’t over bake the logs during the first round. The logs should look slightly pale, almost under baked for the first go in the oven – it’s easier to slice them and they won’t crumble as much (though the tops can crack a bit).
Last, be patient when it comes to the 2nd bake. Keep the oven low and slow and make sure the biscotti turn a toasty, nutty color before taking them out of the oven. They will crisp up as they cool and you want them crispy, dry and brown for the best flavor. They’ll be pretty mild the first day but after a couple of days the flavors are way more, more. That goes with any biscotti recipe. So, if you’re serving the cookies or giving them away, bake ahead of time.
|Sesame Anise Biscotti|| |
- 390 grams Canteen blend (3 cups) (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground anise (optional)
- 100 grams white sesame seeds, toasted (1 ½ cups)
- 3 extra large eggs plus one egg white for brushing
- 125 grams superfine baker’s sugar (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lemon zested
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and ground anise until combined. Toast sesame seeds on a baking sheet in the preheating oven for 5 minutes and cool before using. In a bowl of a stand mixer or using an electric mixer beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until doubled in volume and pale yellow. Add lemon zest and stir. Add to flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Blend in 65 grams or 1 cup of sesame seeds thoroughly. Knead together a few turns, if necessary.
- Divide dough in two and with wet hands form into two logs about 10-inches long and 2 ½-inches wide. Brush tops with egg white wash and coat with remaining sesame seeds. Bake 18 minutes or just until firm. Cool completely. Turn oven temperature to 275°F. Using a serrated knife, cut logs into 1-inch slices. Place slices back on the baking sheet standing up and bake 25-35 minutes more or until golden brown and toasted . Makes about 30 cookies.