Grateful Prayer Thankful Heart is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We will only recommend products we use, love or think are informative and helpful.
The biscotti have little flecks of anise throughout that gives the crunchy cookie an additional layer of flavor. It is pleasant and not overpowering.
Anise is also called aniseed. It is a flowering plant native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia with a flavor similar to star anise, fennel, and liquorice. Anise is used to flavor food and alcoholic drinks, especially around the Mediterranean.
The whole anise seed is harvested from the fruit of an annual herb of the parsley family. The seed is small and curved, about 0.5 cm long and grayish brown.
Baking with Anise
Anise is sweet and very aromatic, distinguished by its characteristic flavor. The seeds, whole or ground, are used for preparation of teas and tisanes as well as in a wide variety of confectioneries. Black jelly beans, Italian pizzelle, German Pfeffernüsse and Springerle are just a few regional treats that include anise.
The Ancient Romans often served spiced cakes with aniseed called mustaceoe at the end of feasts as a digestive. This tradition of serving cake at the end of festivities is the basis for the tradition of serving cake at weddings.
Let’s get started making chocolate anise biscotti
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. and lining a heavy, large baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined.
Beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, to blend.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time…
beating until combined and fluffy.
Add the flour mixture…
and beat just until blended.
Next, add the ground anise seed and mix well.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
On the prepared baking sheet, spoon on the dough and using the back of the spoon or a spatula, smooth into a log about 16-inch-long and 3-inch-wide.
Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Allow the log to cool 30 minutes.
Transfer the log to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices.
Arrange the cookies cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Making the chocolate for dipping biscotti
The biscotti are delicious and ready for serving with your favorite beverage. But, to make them even more special, dip the bottom edge into melted chocolate. It makes them look nice and who doesn’t love a little extra chocolate?
It is quick and easy to prepare the chocolate. I like to use chocolate chips but any semisweet chocolate works. If not using chips, chop the chocolate into equal-size pieces.
The addition of shortening
I like to add a little shortening to the chocolate when melting. The fat creates a smoother and more manageable consistency than melted chocolate alone and helps to make dipping easier.
How much shortening?
The ratio between shortening and chocolate is simply 1/2 teaspoon of shortening to each ounce of chocolate. But, do not use butter or margarine because both of these contain water that can ruin the melting process. Also, make sure that all of your utensils are completely dry because any amount of moisture may cause chocolate to “seize,” or clump and harden.
You can melt the chocolate using a double boiler or, in the microwave, as I do. Always melt chocolate slowly over low heat. It doesn’t really take much to melt. Chocolate begins to melt at 80°F and is fully melted by the time it reaches 100°F to 115°F. Higher temperatures may scorch the chocolate causing it to separate, become grainy, or become too thick.
Place a 12-ounce package of chocolate chips and 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of shortening in a microwave-safe dish. The amount of chocolate you need depends on the amount of chocolate used for each biscotti.
Microwave at 50% power for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and give it a stir. At this point, the chocolate will just begin to melt and soften.
Continue to microwave in 30-second increments, stirring frequently, just until the chocolate has fully melted.
Dip the bottom edge of the biscotti into the melted chocolate.
Place each biscotti onto a cooling rack to harden. Placing in the fridge hastens the cooling and harden time.
Chocolate Anise Biscotti
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground anise seed
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time.
- Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Add the ground anise seed and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- On a prepared baking sheet, form the dough into a 16-inch-long, 3-inch-wide log.
- Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.
- Place the log on the cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the cookies cut side down on the baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies until pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.
Biscotti Gift Ideas
If you need a special gift, these sweet cookies are a perfect idea. Chocolate Anise Biscotti is wrapped in a cellophane bag and tied closed with a string. It is an appreciated gift for birthday, holidays or just-because. Leave a package on a coworkers desk to encourage and brighten a day.
Because the biscotti freeze well, they are great to make ahead for your holiday cookie tray. Just be sure to wrap well in a freezer safe bag or cookie tin to preserve freshness.
You might also like…
Each issue of our Newsletter is timely and helpful and jam-packed with food, crafts, occasional DIY, gardening and faith resources. Relevant and seasonal posts to inspire and guide you with current trends. Available only to those who request it, so please accept our invitation to stay connected and join the Grateful Prayer Thankful Heart community. Just click the subscribe button below.