I grew up calling them Wine Cookies. I didn’t know that most of the world called them biscotti until I was an adult. Family lore has it that my great grandfather enjoyed them in his basement with the Priest after Mass. Dipped in Vin Santo (“holy wine”), of course, which is likely why we called them Wine Cookies.
The smell of anise in the house meant the holiday was just around the corner. They existed only once a year. And they lived in a glass cookie jar with a noisy lid. My sister and I would get into big trouble if the cookie jar was broken into when it wasn’t cookie-time. I got in trouble a lot. The very same cookie jar resides in my home, and it is a known tradition among our family and friends to attempt sneaking a cookie from its belly without being heard. I have an uncanny ability to hear it from where ever I am, no matter what I am doing. The dreaded “I heard that” rings through the house to the great disappointment of the cookie-grabber. No trouble is gotten into. Just a lot of laughter and shouting and second attempts. Few have conquered the cookie jar game. The problem lies not in taking off the lid quietly, but in returning said lid to its proper place while experiencing the deceptive joy of having been successful. John, if you read this, you are currently reigning King of Quiet Cookie Jar Conquest.
In a stand mixer combine till fluffy:
2 cups sugar
Then mix in:
2 cubes butter softened
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons ground anise seed
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups slivered almonds
Place on parchment lined sheets.
Press down a bit with fingers.
Sprinkle with almonds.
Lightly dust with sugar.
Bake at 375 till beginning to brown and mostly done.
With a sharp knife, cut into 1″ slices.
Turn onto side, then return to cookie tray.
When all the cookies are sliced and ready to go, return tray to oven for a second bake.
Bake for 90 minutes at 200. Let cool completely before putting them in jar.
They really never get stale and are great for mailing!