My very old time favorites … village biscotti !

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I stopped to have coffee at one of my favorite cafes in the heart of the City yesterday and the beautiful murals bring back many childhood memories of sitting here with my parents; a place where cafe society in those days assembled and nostalgia hits me hard….

Many traditional sweets no longer appear in the coffee shops on the island these days and with the help of my friend Renato, I am making all the old time favorites.

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Today’s biscuits are known as Village Biscotti and I doubt very much whether they were sold at this lovely cafe in the City, but they are delicious with a mild clove and aniseed flavor; this is an old time recipe from Renato’s dad.

You will need:

This recipe makes 35 – 40

250g flour
125g sugar
50g butter
125g eggs, break open the eggs and weigh the volume for accuracy
35g ground almonds
20g ground aniseed
10g baking powder
A pinch of ground cloves
Few drops of a good vanilla extract
Zest of 1/4 orange and 1/4 lemon

Cream the sugar and butter and when it is lighter and fluffy add the beaten eggs a little bit at a time.
Sieve the flour and baking powder. Add the spices, ground almonds, vanilla and zest and mix the dry ingredients
Until you have an even consistency.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mix and mix with a large metal spoon.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
I use a piping bag to make my village biscotti but you can spoon them onto the baking paper if you prefer.
Bake at 190C for around 20 minutes but don’t let them get too brown.
We piped spirals with pink icing on ours as this is traditional, but I love to eat mine plain without the icing, enjoying the very moment when i dunk them in my coffee village style !

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