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Biscotti di San Martino-St. Martin's Cookies

An Italian fennel cookie made for the San Martino holiday. A perfect fall cookie with a touch of anise and cinnamon.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: biscotti, Cookies, San Martino
Servings: 18 cookies


  • 4 cups of flour
  • dash of salt
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 10 Tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fennel or anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • Let the yeast dissolve in the water with about a teaspoon of sugar. It's ready when it bubbles up.
  • Add the flour, shortening, sugar and nice seeds to the drum of a food processor. Pulse together a few times.
  • Add in the water with the yeast and pulse until it combines. Add a little more water (about a teaspoon at a time)if it's not reaching a workable consistency. You don't want the dough to be too wet.
  • Dump the dough onto the counter (if it's a little too wet, add a bit of flour until you achieve a workable consistency).
  • Knead the dough together until it's smooth. Place in upside down in an oiled boil. Swish it around right side up. Cover and let it rise for 45 minutes. While dough is resting, heat the oven to 400F.
  • Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
  • Cut the dough into 18 pieces (each piece should weigh 50 grams). Cover the cut pieces with a tea towel. Start working one piece at a time. Roll a piece into a strip about 8 inches long and shape into a snail shape. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat process with the rest of the dough pieces.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until a nice golden brown.