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Anise Slices

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon anise extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons crushed aniseed
an egg wash made by beating together 1 large egg and 2 tablespoons milk

In a bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter, beat in the
sugar, a little at a time, and beat the mixture until it is light
and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each
addition, beat the mixture until it is thick and pale, and beat in
the anise extract. In another bowl combine the flour, the baking
powder, the salt, and the aniseed and beat the mixture into the
butter mixture to form a sticky dough. Halve the dough and with
floured hands pat each half into a 14-by-4 inch rectangle on a
buttered baking sheet. Brush the rectangles well with the egg wash
and bake them in the upper third of a preheated 375F oven for 20-25
minutes, or until they are golden brown and a skewer comes out
clean. Cut the rectangles crosswise diagonally into 3/4 inch
slices, turn the slices on their sides and bake them in the 375F
oven for 5 minutes. Turn the slices and bake them for 5 minutes
more. Let the slices cool on racks and store them in airtight
containers. Makes about 34 biscotti.


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