Tra Vigne's Unscotti (once baked)

TOTAL TIME: 3 hr 35 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive Prep: 2 hr
Cook: 1 hr 10 min
 
YIELD: about 40 cookies
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surfaces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon gray salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup crystal sugar plus more to roll logs in (see Chef's Note)
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons anise seeds
  • 1 cup unblanched whole almonds, toasted
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      Directions

      Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

      In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and crystal sugar until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar while mixing. Add the eggs, flour mixture, and anise seeds. Beat on low just until the dough begins to come together. Add the almonds and mix just until distributed. Do not overwork. On a floured board, shape the dough into a log, flatten, put on a baking sheet, and chill for 2 hours to allow the dough to relax.

      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions on a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, roll each portion into a log about 3 inches in diameter. Top generously with crystal sugar. Place the logs on the prepared baking sheet and press down lightly to flatten slightly. Logs should be several inches apart.

      Bake until firm and light brown, about 1 hour or more. When poked with a finger, the dough should feel firm to the touch and not collapse or cave in. Remove from the oven. Let the logs cool completely before serving.

      Variation : Try substituting 1/2 cup of cacao nibs for 1/2 a cup of almonds. They'll add a subtle chocolate flavor.

      * Chef's Note: Crystal, or sparkling sugar is large-grained, decorative sugar available in both white and colored versions. It gives the cookies a slightly lighter and moister texture since it has a higher moisture content than granulated sugar. You can substitute turbinado sugar, which is also large grained. It gives a slightly coarser texture. You can also use granulated white sugar with very good results.

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