Back when I found the jackpot of some of my Italian Grandma's recipes, one of them was for this, biscotti. I was so excited to make it, and I decided that the perfect time was for my aunt, my grandmother's very own daughter, as she recovered from surgery in the hospital. This was kind of a silly decision, since that is like making chicken pot pie for Paula Deen.
I remember these cookies always being served in the morning at my grandparents' house alongside coffee. I always thought, "Cookies! For breakfast!! Fantastic!!" And then I would take a bite and be incredibly let down. The anise that you add to them, as a child, tasted nasty. As an adult, LOVE. It is the perfectly complement to coffee.
To be fair, these aren't technically biscotti, my grandma actually named them "Italian Cookie Slices." Biscotti involves baking the dough, slicing it, letting it cool, and then baking the slices again. I didn't do that. Because Grandma's recipe didn't tell me to.
I started by mixing up the dough. I added flour to my hands, because the dough is SUPER sticky. Then I rolled it into 4 inch by 1 inch think rolls and plopped them on to parchment paper.
When you take them out of the oven, cut them while they are still hot. Hold them with an oven mit so you don't kill all the nerve endings in your fingers like I seem to to be doing over the years.
I found that the best way to avoid crumbling was less slicing and more just pushing down with the knife.
Now package them up in a delightful way to distract your aunt into really thinking about how they taste.
Or just pair them up with your morning coffee, close your eyes, and tune out your children's yelling. Yummy. It almost drowns out the sound of, "Juice!! I want juice!!"
If you are wondering, that beautiful china was a gift my grandfather brought back from Italy for my grandmother in the 50's when he returned home to visit for the first time after coming to the United States when he was 17.
And, if you are wondering if my aunt liked the cookies, I got a lovely thank you card from her. I sent them on to another dear aunt, who when I asked her if she liked them she said, "Lisa, it is time for true confessions." OH NO! This can't be good!! She told me that she left them at my cousin's house, and my cousin's husband finished off the package of them before she could even try one! I take that as a ringing endorsement. They do taste exactly as I remember them.
Grandma's Biscotti (aka Italian Cookie Slices)
1/2 cup oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp anise extract
5 tsps baking powder
5 cups flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds or walnuts (more if you'd like)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat the eggs well.
- Beat together the oil and the sugar and beat it in to the eggs.
- Add the vanilla, anise, and baking powder.
- Slowly add the flour and combine until you have made a stiff dough.
- The dough will be very sticky, so flour on your hands helps. Roll the dough into 4 inch by 1 inch rolls, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet about an inch apart.
- Bake 35 minutes or until they are golden brown. Slice them while warm and let them cool completely before packing them away.
- To enjoy completely, serve with coffee.