Fig and Walnut Biscotti
1 pound dried figs (or 1 package Calimyrna crown figs; see note)
1 1/2 pounds all-purpose flour, sifted and then measured to yield about 6 cups
3 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons ground anise seed (or 2 teaspoons anise extract)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 pound walnuts
1. Remove and discard stems from the figs. Cut each fig into 6 to 8 pieces; set aside. Stir together the flour, baking powder, anise and salt; set aside.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, then stir in the melted butter. Stir in flour mixture, then figs and walnuts. (Dough will be somewhat stiff.)
3. Shape dough into 6 flat logs about 2 inches wide. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Place logs about 2 inches apart on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until logs are lightly browned outside but still soft inside, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
5. With a sharp knife, slice biscotti on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Return slices to cookie sheets, flat side down. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn slices over and continue baking until lightly browned all over, about 5 to 10 more minutes.
6. Cool before storing in a tightly sealed container.
Note: Look for plump golden dried Calimyrna crown figs sold in rings (and sometimes on strings) in the supermarket produce aisle.
Makes about 4 dozen