I never knew my grandmother (she died when my mom was 14), but my mother’s beautiful nieces (and fellow soulmates-in-cooking), Kay and Maryanne were nice enough to send me a bunch of Grandma Catrino’s recipes a few years back including the biscotti one above. This story alone would have been enough for the recipe to earn a time-honored place in black paint inside my cabinet door — but the biscotti also happens to be incredibly delicious. Click to the jump for instructions.
Biscotti: A recipe from Mary Camino Catrino (1898-1950), slightly adapted
Cream together 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) and 1 cup sugar. Add 3 eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, sift (or whisk) together 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons baking powder.
Using an electric mixer, add flour mixture to butter/sugar/egg mixture — slowly so you don’t overload the mixer. Stir in: 1 teaspoon almond extract, 1 tablespoon anise seed, 1/2 cup chopped pecans or almonds.
Flour counter and hands. Take mixture out, place on a floured surface and knead; work into 3 loaves and shape. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes until firm and light brown. Cool and cut into strips.