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1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon anise extract or Sambucca
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
4 ounces dried figs (about 6 large), stems removed, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In small pan over medium-low heat, toast fennel seeds, swirling the pan; set aside.
3. In large bowl cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, extracts and zest and mix again.
4. In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients (including fennel seeds). Add to butter mixture and mix until just incorporated.
5. Divide dough into 4 pieces and on floured board form into 9" x 1" logs. Place on ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart, and bake until lightly browned, 25 – 30 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Using serrated knife, cut logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place cut side down on baking sheet and bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Turn biscotti over and bake for 5-10 minutes more.