Fennel: Almond Fennel ­Biscotti

Makes 4 dozen

This recipe is a favorite of my garden manager, Jody Main, who not only gardens but also runs a catering company that specializes in healthy food. These crunchy cookies have no butter and are filled with wholesome ingredients. Served with afternoon tea or evening wine, they’re great for dunking. They are easy to make for a crowd or for gifts.

  • 3 cups sliced blanched almonds, divided
  • 4 teaspoons fennel seeds, divided
  • 4 cups unbleached white flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a food processor, whirl 2 cups almonds on high speed until pulverized. Add 2 teaspoons fennel seeds and whirl to a coarse powder. Add the flour and baking powder and mix well. (If you have no food processor, pulverize the almonds and fennel seeds in a blender or grinder, and mix with the flour by hand in a bowl.)

3. With a sharp knife, coarsely chop the remaining 1 cup almonds and 2 teaspoons fennel seeds. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, apple juice, vanilla, chopped fennel seeds, and almonds. Add the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until nearly blended. Knead by hand until completely blended.

4. Cut the dough in half and form into two loaves 10 by 3 by 11/2 inches. Set the loaves on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake on the highest rack in the oven for 30 minutes, or until just golden.

5. Remove the sheet from the oven and cut each loaf on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Lay them on their side on the baking sheet. Lower the oven temperature to 250°F and bake 30 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake them 30 minutes longer. Turn off the oven, open the door, and let the biscotti cool in the oven about 1 hour. If the biscotti slices are not crisp, bake another 30 minutes at 250°F. Cool. Store in a sealed container.

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Mother Earth Living
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