Hello, my name is Rachael and I’m addicted to coffee.
This may sound a bit dramatic, but one of the reasons I am able to get out of bed early in the morning is because of coffee. There are so many wonderful sensations that are associated with a warm cup of coffee; its enticing, toasty smell and rich, nutty flavor are comforting and refreshing. And the way milk swirls in the dark brown liquid, eventually transforming into a lighter, creamier shade (I’m not a sugar kind of girl- milk only, please) makes my heart skip a beat. I told you this was dramatic.
Yes, this could easily be described as an obsession.
These strong feelings are not only associated with the coffee itself, but the people with whom I share it. Many of my favorite memories of living in Tokyo the past two years include sitting with my husband at the kitchen table, sipping on coffee and discussing the adventures, frustrations and wonders of our life here. The only thing that can make those moments a little more lovely is something delicious to munch on. This recipe for chocolate chip anise biscotti is the perfect accompaniment to a steaming hot cup of coffee.
Biscotti is easier to make than you may think. These crunchy treats are perfect gifts for friends, easy make-ahead desserts for dinner parties, or to keep around as an occasional treat. Biscotti are also very versatile- there are many flavor combinations, both sweet and savory. Chocolate chip and anise create a delicious combination of rich chocolate and licorice flavored anise are a match made in heaven. Subtle but indulgent, simple but elegant. The perfect mate for a cup of coffee.
What are your favorite biscotti flavors?
Chocolate-Chip Anise Biscotti Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe for Chocolate Citrus Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground anise (Use a microplane or spice grinder to grind whole pods)
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups dark (or semisweet) chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a whisk, stir the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, ground anise and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in another large bowl until pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture to the eggs and sugar and beat just until blended (the dough will be soft and sticky). Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Using a rubber spatula, transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet, forming two mounds spaced evenly apart. Moisten your hands with water and shape the dough into two 11 by 4-inch logs. Bake until lightly brown, about 35 minutes. Cool the logs for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the same baking sheet. Bake until the biscotti are pale and golden, about 25 minutes. Cool the biscotti on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.