- 3 Tbsp. anise seeds
- 1 cup whole almonds, toasted and cooled
- 1 ¼ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil, preferably Arbequina
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1/3 - ½ cup organic sugar for shaping
Toast the anise seeds lightly in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly until fragrant. Cool. Grind in a spice grinder until fine.
Grind the almonds medium-fine a food processor.
Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the pastry flour and salt to a strainer set over a medium bowl, and sift into the bowl. Stir the ground almonds and ground anise into the dry mixture. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts until well blended.
Pour into dry mixture and stir until dough forms. A small piece should hold together when squeezed. Allow dough to rest in the bowl for 10 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and cut in half.
Spread half of the sugar on the counter and roll one piece of the dough in the sugar to a log 11 to 12 inches long. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Wrap each log in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350˚ F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the logs and place on the prepared baking sheet, 3 to 4 inches apart. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm and lightly browned.
Cool 10 minutes; then carefully, slide the logs, still on the parchment paper, off the sheet and onto a rack. Cool completely.
To ensure neat and even slicing, wrap the logs and refrigerate about 1 hour, until cold. The parchment paper can remain on the baking sheet for second baking.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Use a serrated knife to cut ¼ inch thick diagonal slices, creating the typical biscotti shape.
Cut straight down or saw into the logs gently; experiment to see what creates the neatest slices. Place the biscotti cut-side down on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 6 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and use turn each piece over using a tongs or spatula. Bake 6 to 7 minutes longer, or until dry. Cool the biscotti.
Store in a tightly covered tin for 1 week. Freeze in an airtight container up to a month.
Chef's Note: Did you know that biscotti means twice baked and anise is historically considered a digestive aid? While my anise biscotti recipe is true to its Italian origins, it is vegan, meaning the cookies are cholesterol-free. And, since these are made with whole wheat pastry flour, heart healthy almonds and California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil, and without any refined sugar, you really can feel good about enjoying these not too sweet, not too hard cookies any time of the day, including breakfast. The cookies stay crisp for at least a week in a tin, and can be frozen up to a month.
Recipe courtesy of Fran Costigan, More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally (Book Publishing Co., 2006)