Tuesday, October 23, 2012


What is it about the aroma of basil?  Next to mint and rosemary, I'm not sure there's a more fragrant and appealing scent.  Right now, I've got an abundance growing on my lanai, and rather than make pesto, which I will also do, I wanted to use it in a sweet, rather than savory way.  So, those who know me know how much I love biscotti, and I decided to incorporate it--make it the star--of this versatile cookie.  Hope you enjoy!

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped, toasted almonds
1 cup chopped fresh basil

Prepare two heavy baking sheets with single layer of parchment paper on each.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl; blend until smooth and creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated well; stopping to scrape bowl once or twice.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, anise seeds, and salt; add to butter mixture, along with extracts; mix only until completely blended; add nuts and basil, again mixing just until evenly combined.  Dough will be sticky.  

With lightly greased hands form half of dough into a 10" x 2" log on each baking sheet, smoothing edges and top.  Place in preheated oven, and bake for 25 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through cooking so they bake uniformly.  Remove from oven; let sit for 5 minutes.  Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.  Carefully remove each log to a cutting board and slice each on the diagonal.  Place each cookie back on the baking sheets, and continue to crisp and lightly brown, about 5 to 10 minutes, watching closely so they don't burn.  

Remove to cooling racks; cool completely.  Keep in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks, or pack in tins to freeze for future use.

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