We have been eating biscotti daily for the past two weeks. It's been so cold and it sure is comforting to dip these delicious cookies into a hot mug of tea. The original recipe called for anise seed. When I baked these for the first time I only had fennel seed so substituted them in the recipe. We tried the recipe several times with both anise seed and fennel seed. Both taste great but we are partial to the fennel seed. The fennel seed seems to enhance the almond flavor and increase the perfume of the cookie. Anise or fennel seed, these cookies are delicious and very easy to make. You don't even need to pull out your mixer. Love recipes that are mixed in a bowl with a large wooden spoon. ;)
Fennel Seed and Almond Biscotti
Adapted from a December 1999 Bon Appetit recipe
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
a scant ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, semi-ground
1 ¼ cups whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped (see How to Toast Nuts, here)
1 large egg white
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. To grind fennel seed cover with parchment paper and using rolling pin apply pressure while rolling over parchment. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Mix sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, vanilla extract, and ground fennel seeds in large bowl – mix by stirring with a wooden spoon or large spatula. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir with wooden spoon until well blended. Mix in almonds.
Divide dough in half and place dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape each dough half into 13 1/2-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Whisk egg white in small bowl until foamy; brush over top and sides of each dough log.
Bake logs until golden brown (logs will spread), about 30 minutes.
Cool logs on sheet on rack, about 25 minutes.
Transfer logs to work surface; using serrated knife, cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on same baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Turn biscotti over; bake until just beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.