Sunday, May 23, 2010

Anisette Toasts

Cookie Bowl
I get to use my penguin bowl again, yay!

(As you can see, I am trying to revamp the appearance of this blog a little, so the layout might change a bit. I'm not sure how I feel about this one yet. Thoughts? Opinions?)

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting around my friend's apartment, waiting to go to our gym class, when said friend offered me some anisette toasts. I think my unintelligent response was "Ani-wha?" About 15 of them later, I was cursing her and dragging my bloated, newly-anisette-toast-addicted self to the gym. You know what would have been great? Staying on the couch and finishing the rest of them.

Batter scooped onto baking sheet; I only made a quarter at a time

So, what IS anisette toast anyway? Well, it's basically biscotti! I googled around a bit and it seems like Stella D'oro is a producer of these--I used to ride past the Stella D'oro factory in the Bronx every morning on my way to high school and production days were the best because at least half the ride would smell like baking cookies. Which is much better than how NY usually smells (although still, nothing beats the stench of the Meadowlands over by Newark Airport in the summer--man, I always feel bad for tourists flying into Newark, imagine the first impression of this area being the smell of the Meadowlands and the Ikea in Elizabeth.) I actually saw anisette toasts for sale at the grocery, but my friend's grandmother very kindly shared the recipe. YAY. I love family recipes!

After first bake

These cookies are super easy to make. The recipe calls for margarine, but as an avowed butter devotee, I decided to make half the batch with margarine and half with butter. Honestly, I didn't think there was too much of a difference--the butter ones are maybe a tad more crumbly but I just baked them for an extra couple of minutes. So, use whatever you have on hand.

Sliced and ready for the second baking

I had a hard time visualizing the shaping until I actually was putting the dough onto the cookie sheets but it is seriously dead easy (see second photo). I suppose you could also pipe or spoon the dough onto into a log that's about 3 inches wide, for cookies that are all perfectly uniform, but scooping and dropping the dough is much less work! These are delicious with tea and would probably would also be awesome with coffee, but I have none and I'm too lazy to go buy more beans.

Cookie Jar
This jar will be empty soon.

I rewrote the recipe very slightly, but this comes courtesy of my friend's grandma. Thank you, Mrs. C!

Anisette Toasts
1 stick margarine (or butter), softened
l l/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt (if using butter, otherwise, omit)
2 l/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
l/4 tsp anise flavoring

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream sugar and margarine. If using butter, also include salt at this point. Beat in the eggs; the mixture may look curdled, but that's fine. Add dry ingredients and anise flavoring, and stir until smooth.

Using a l/3 measuring cup - drop 6 mounds of batter on the cookie sheet (so you are forming 2 rows of 3 mounds). The batter will spread and run into each other slightly and rise. Bake about l3-l5 minutes till slightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and separate columns and cut into 1/2" slices. Lay the slices on the cookie sheet on their sides and bake for 6 minutes; flip slices over, and bake for another 6 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool. Repeat with remaining batter.

Makes a large cookie jar full that goes very, very quickly.


Anonymous said...

yummy! i like the new blog theme. very clean looking. a lot of blogs are very white though.

M. said...

nice recipe....I just made biscotti fact I'm enjoying one right now with tea!!! such great little treats!

tofugirl said...

Hey Eula! Yeah, I'm still playing around with Blogger's new template designer--I figure as long as I don't bring back the good old dripping blood bars, I'm doing okay, hehe.

M, hooray for biscotti! Going over to take a look at yours now :D

Bentobird said...

lovely post, these look so refined yet hearty in classic Italian style! your blog looks fresh and very cool :)

tofugirl said...

Thanks Bentobird (and thanks for checking the layout for me!)--I brought a jar of them to work today,they seemed to go over well. Well, except for my one coworker who tried one and immediately went "ooh, I don't like that." Hmph! Ingrate! hehe.

Carolyn Jung said...

I did something similar once -- ate a chocolate truffle 5 minutes before going to an aerobics class. Bad move! Ugh, I felt it in my stomach the entire class. Learned my lesson. But now these lovely cookies -- they would be the best treat to have after working out. Light, crunchy, big on flavor and oh-so satisfying.

tofugirl said...

Carolyn, oof! That sounds unpleasant! I'm really hooked on biscotti right now, I think I will experiment with some more flavors this weekend :D

Sonia said...

I have prepared the toasts this afternoon and were delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

Unknown said...

I just made these anisette toasts and they are awesome. Thanks for posting such a terrific recipe

tofugirl said...

Glad you enjoyed them Christine :)