Mother Earth Living

A Basil Harvest: Lemon or Anise Basil Biscotti

<em>Makes about 4 dozen</em>
<p>These crunchy, low-fat, rusk-type cookies are fashioned after the Tuscan Biscotti di Prato, but they have an ­unusual added ingredient: basil. I make two versions, one with the traditional anise flavor and the other inspired by the sweet, strong flavor of lemon basil. Try a batch of each.</p>
<p>• About 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour<br />
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder<br />
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda<br />
• Large pinch salt<br />
• 1 1/2 cups sugar<br />
• 3 extra-large eggs<br />
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract<br />
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest or 1 teaspoon aniseed, bruised<br />
• Generous 1/2 cup chopped lemon basil or anise basil leaves<br />
• 2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted and ground</p>
<p>1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter and flour two baking sheets.</p>
<p>2. In a medium bowl, stir together 3 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center and add the eggs; beat them with a fork in the well. Add the vanilla and the lemon zest and lemon basil or aniseed and anise basil, and stir with a fork; begin incorporating the flour mixture. After you’ve mixed in most of the flour, add the ground almonds and blend well.</p>
<p>3. With the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, flour a flat surface and your hands and turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Knead the dough (it will be sticky), working in the remaining flour and a little more if you must. Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll each into a cylinder 2 to 21/2 inches wide. Place the cylinders on one of the prepared baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes.</p>
<p>4. Remove the sheet from the oven and reduce the temperature to 300°F. Cut the rolls diagonally into slices 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Arrange these on two baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Turn over the biscotti and bake for 15 minutes longer.</p>
<p>5. Cool the biscotti on baking racks. Pack them into tins with tight-fitting lids. They are better the second day after baking, and they keep well for several weeks.</p>
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<strong>A Basil Harvest</strong>

  • Published on Jul 23, 2009
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