Tatův Chlebíček, or My Dad’s Favorite Little Bread-Cookies (Biscotti)

Another Czech family recipe for Christmas-time cookies. In our family we called them “My Dad’s” favorite, but technically-originally they were my grandfather’s favorite.

I never got to meet my grandfather. But I also love these cookies! And I feel close to family when I’m making them, even if we are far apart.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter – chilled – and cubed
  • 3 eggs
  • 125ml milk
  • 75g walnuts and slivered or sliced almonds (raw or roasted) – coarsely chop the walnuts
  • 75g dried fruit (a variety is best – e.g., roughly chopped dates, dried orange slices, currants)
  • 500g all-purpose flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp anise seed, coarsely ground in a spice blender
  • zest of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle.
  2. Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, ground anise seed, and lemon zest in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add the cubed butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle blade. Barely cream the butter.
  4. Add the eggs to the butter one at a time, then the milk, mixing on the lowest setting.
  5. Then add the flour mixture fairly quickly. Mix on low only until barely combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Using floured hands, shape the dough into 4 small logs. Do not overwork!
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until very lightly browned on the bottom.
  8. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, and then slice on the bias.
  9. You may need a second baking sheet at this point. Put the sliced biscotti back onto the baking sheets, flat side up. Bake for another 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool. Enjoy!

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