This coming Tuesday, the Morgan Hill office of Intero is having our yearly celebration of "Italian Day". Due to a large number of our group with an Italian heritage, we spend one day celebrating by eating great food and drinking great local (and Italian) wine. This has been a tradition for many years and as long as I have been a part of our gang. I must have some Italian in me somewhere, somehow, because I am famous for my biscotti. I usually make them around the holidays and always on Italian Day (this year being no exception). And they have their following! Since they are very time consuming and I spent about 6 hours baking today, I am sharing my recipe with you. It's not really difficult, it just takes time and love.
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 lb butter (melted and cooled)
1 1/2 tsp anise seed (I usually use 1 Tablespoon)
6 oz nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
6 oz raisins (I like golden raisins)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 lbs flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Separate six eggs and beat yolks with 1 1/4 cups sugar. Beat whites stiff and fold in 1 1/4 cups sugar gradually. Fold into egg yolk mixture and add 1/2 lb butter. Blend anise, nuts, raisins and stir in vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and fold into egg mixture gradually. (At this point I usually fold enough flour into mixture to keep it together and then I dump it all on the counter and knead it. It is too unwieldy in a bowl at this point and you really don't want to over work the dough either.) Roll dough into cylinders (1 1/2" by 8 to 10" long - I usually end up with four and bake two at a time.) Put on buttered baking sheets at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or just beginning to be lightly browned. Remove and cut 3/4" wide at 45 degree angle. Bake 5 to 10 minutes (I bake them on each side for 5 minutes but be careful not to overcook them).