Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grandma Spinelli's Anise Cookies (Biscotti)

This recipe is priceless and from an extraordinary lady…Mark’s Grandma Spinelli!  I remember walking into her kitchen on Sundays after church and smelling all the aromas of an Italian meal being made…and there in the corner sat a cookie jar (which I cherish now that she has passed away) that would be filled with her delicious biscotti.   As a gift the year before she died, she hand wrote her recipe for Anise cookies and gave it to each of her grandchildren…so now, every time I make her biscotti, I think of how grateful I was to have her in my life and how wonderful it is to have HER recipe!

2 cubes of butter
1 ¾ cups of white sugar
6 eggs
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of anise oil or 1 tablespoon of anise extract
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of vanilla (I like pure vanilla, but you can use extract)
5 cups of flour
Nuts (optional) I use slivered almonds but any kind can be used!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Spray cookie sheet with Pam.  Cream butter and sugar well with electric mixer.  Add eggs one at a time, when well blended; add anise, vanilla, salt, baking soda, baking powder and nuts.  Stir in flour by hand.  Mixture will be thick and clumpy.
On cookie sheet, form rows of dough with teaspoons about 1 inch apart – you will get 4 rows on a large cookie sheet.   Bake for 15 minutes until they are light tan in color.  Remove from oven and cut the cookies in strips diagonally.  Turn cookies to their side and return to oven.  Bake for another 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted.

You can make your own icing from milk and powdered sugar or dip the end of each biscotti in white chocolate (my favorite). Store in an airtight container.
ENJOY with a cup of coffee (my kids like to dunk their biscotti…so do I!) J   Bet you can’t have just one!

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