The Food Network’s holiday biscotti and Martha Stewart’s crisp anise cookies are two recipes for Italian Christmas cookies. The first recipe is a twice-baked sweet dough cookie, while the second is a piped anise-flavored cookie.
To make the Food Network’s holiday biscotti, beat together 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 2 large eggs, one at a time. Beat in 2 cups flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and stir in 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios and 2/3 cup of dried cranberries. Form the dough into a 13-inch-long and 3-inch-wide loaf, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Let it cool for 30 minutes. Slice the loaf into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and bake, cut-side down, for an additional 15 minutes. Once the cookies have cooled completely, dip one end into 12 ounces of melted white chocolate, sprinkle with decorative sugar, and refrigerate until the chocolate hardens.
Prepare Martha Stewart’s crisp anise cookies by sifting together 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of ground anise seeds. Using a mixer on medium speed, whisk 4 large room-temperature eggs. Increasing the speed to high, slowly add in 2 cups and 2 tablespoons of sugar, and whisk for 10 minutes until the dough is thick and glossy. Reduce the speed to low, and add in the flour mixture until it’s combined. Pipe 1-inch tapered mounds onto baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats, and bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the cookies are firm.