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Makes 3-4 dozen
A Sicilian specialty, this recipe produces a relatively hard biscuit --
perfect with an
afternoon cup of coffee.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon minced zest from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon anise seed

1. Sift first 3 ingredients together in a small bowl.
2. Whisk sugar and eggs in a large bowl to a light lemon color;
stir in next 3 ingredients. Sift dry ingredients over egg mixture,
then fold in until dough is just combined.
3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Halve dough and turn each portion onto an oiled cookie sheet
covered with parchment. Using floured hands, quickly stretch each
portion of dough into a rough 13-by-2-inch log, placing them about 3
inches apart on the cookie sheet. Pat each dough shape to
smooth it. Bake, turning pan once, until loaves are golden and just
beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes.
4. Cool the loaves for 10 minutes; lower oven temperature to 325
degrees. Cut each loaf diagonally into 3/8-inch slices with a serrated knife.
Lay the slices about 1/2-inch apart on the cookie sheet, cut side up, and
return them to the oven. Bake, turning over each cookie halfway through
baking, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes.
Transfer biscotti to wire rack and cool completely.
(Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for at least 1 month.)


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