Archive for the ‘San Francisco, My Hometown’ Category


Easter Saturday Shopping

April 6, 2010

I know Easter has come and gone but I wanted to share an Easter weekend tradition in my husband, Peter’s family. On Saturday, the day before Easter, the whole family gets together and goes shopping in San Francisco’s North Beach to buy food for dinner that night. This custom started over 50 years ago and they haven’t missed one. In the beginning there were just 5 of them- Peter, his parents and three of his brothers. His younger brother and two sisters hadn’t even been born yet. Fast forward all these years later and add younger siblings, spouses, children, and a few good friends for good measure and the group is up to 24. This year the oldest, Peter’s dad, is 87 and the youngest, Isa, is almost a year old. Four generations shopping together.

We have the same route very year. We start at Peter and Paul Church on Washington Square where Peter’s great grandparents were married. There we sit on the steps and get a family history lesson. (People walking by stop and listen as they think we are part of an organized tour group.)  The first food stop is Liguria Bakery. It has the best focaccia in North Beach, if not the country. You have to get there early as they always run out. They have many different kinds but the pizza is the best. For a nickel more you can get it cut up to go. Otherwise they wrap it up in white paper like your shirts at the cleaners. (When you go make sure you peak into the back and see the huge oven where they do the baking.) The next two stops are at bakeries where we pick up bread and breadsticks. Then it is off to the site of Figone hardware on Grant Street. Mel Figone was a duck hunting buddy of Peter’s grandfather. When he owned the store the Luchetti clan would stop by and give him a bag of cookies from one of the Italian bakeries. Now the shop is an art gallery but we still stop by and reminisce about their duck hunting excursions. Mel’s picture is in the window of the gallery.

After stopping for lunch for some nourishment to keep shopping we stop at Stella Bakery on Columbus Avenue. Here we get a walk around treat. Everyone gets something different- (tiramisu, cannoli, cookies, biscotti, éclairs, cream puffs, panna cotta) plus we pick up a Sacripantina Cake which is their specialty. It’s sponge cake layered with Marsala-Sherry sabayon and covered with whipped cream. From there we go to Molinari Delicatessen. Jeff, my brother in law, orders all the cold meats (prosciutto (20 sheets!), galantina, mortadella, Toscana and Genoa salami, sopressata, head cheese, hot and mild coppa) while I select the cheeses (teleme, aged asiago, fontina, gorgonzola, parmesan, pecorino, and taleggio). Here we also get calamari salad, bean salad, olives, marinated mushrooms, artichokes, and tomatoes as well as house made cheese ravioli, red sauce and wines. At Victoria Pastry we pick up a Saint Honore cake and boxes of cookies. A big box is for us and smaller boxes are for gifts family members take to friends and in-laws on Easter Sunday. The final stop of the day is at Graffeo coffee where we all get coffee ground for our specific machines at home.

We load the cars with our goodies and go over to Peter’s and my house, open the wine and visit while we spread all the food out in a huge buffet. (We always end up with a few more people for dinner that couldn’t make the shopping part of the day.)The ravioli is the only thing we cook that evening so it is a holiday where no one gets stuck doing a lot of cooking when everyone else hangs out.

Years ago I came up with my version of Sacripantina cake. While I make it at other times of the year I wouldn’t think of making it at Easter. Part of the tradition is going to Stella and buying it. It’s fun to have a holiday where I don’t feel obligated to make dessert. I had it on the menu at Stars Restaurant but changed the name to Tuscan Cream Cake. People had a hard time pronouncing Sacripantina so they wouldn’t order it. As soon as I changed the name it sold like crazy.

Tuscan Cream Cake

Serves at least 12

2 recipes Sponge Cake (see recipe below)

1 recipe Zabaglione (see recipe below)

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup chocolate shavings or ground chocolate

3/4 cup crushed amaretti or biscotti

Against a short end of the cake, cut a 9-inch circle out of the sponge cake. With the remaining sponge cake, cut a half of a 9-inch circle. Repeat with the second sheet of sponge cake. Cut each circle and each half circle in half horizontally, so you will have a total of 4 circles and 4 half circles. (You will need all the circles and 2 of the half circles, so freeze the extra half circles and any scrap pieces for making trifles.)

Put a cake layer in the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Top with a generous 3/4 cup of the zabaglione. Top with a second cake layer, and then with another generous 3/4 cup of the zabaglione. For the third cake layer, fit two half circles side by side on the zabaglione. Repeat with more zabaglione and end with the fourth full cake circle. You will have 5 cake layers and 4 zabaglione layers. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

In a bowl, combine the cream and sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan, and then remove the pan sides and set the cake on a platter. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the whipped cream. Decorate the top with the chocolate shavings and the sides with the crushed amaretti. Cut into wedges to serve.

Planning Ahead

The cake may be made a day in advance, but frost the cake and decorate with the chocolate shavings and cookie crumbs the day you serve it. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Sponge Cake

You can double this recipe and make both cakes at once if your mixer is big enough.

Makes one 11 1/2-by-17 1/2-inch cake

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of kosher salt

5 large eggs, separated

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

5 tablespoons boiling water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of an 11 1/2-by-17 1/2-inch baking sheet with 1-inch sides, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour and baking powder onto a piece of parchment paper or into a bowl. Add the salt and set aside.

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip on high speed until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, add the boiling water and vanilla, and mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick, about 2 minutes. The mixture should be thick enough so that when you lift a bit of it with the whip, it falls back into the bowl in a ribbon that slowly dissolves on the surface. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients, and mix until incorporated.

Wash and dry the whip attachment. Put the egg whites in a clean mixer bowl, fit the mixer with the clean whip, and beat on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form. They should be smooth and not clumpy. Using a spatula, fold half of the whipped whites into the yolk mixture. Then fold in the remaining whites just until no white streaks remain. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched, about 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan to room temperature.

To remove the cake from the pan, run a small knife around the inside edge of the pan. Invert the pan onto a work surface, lift off the pan, and carefully peel off the parchment paper.

The sauce may be made 2 days ahead and kept refrigerated.


Makes about 3 cups

8 large egg yolks

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Pinch of kosher salt

3/4 cup Marsala

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Prepare an ice bath. In a stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until blended. Whisk in the Marsala.

Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick and there are no air bubbles, 3 to 4 minutes. The mixture should mound slightly when dropped from the whisk.

Remove the bowl from the pan and place over the ice bath. Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally.

Put the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, fold the cream into the cooled Marsala mixture just until combined.

Cover and refrigerate until assembling the cake.


Make A Wish

February 11, 2010

Make-A-Wish Foundation

This past weekend on Treasure Island was the annual Make A Wish fundraiser dinner. It’s a wonderful organization that helps kids who have cancer or other life threatening illnesses fulfill their dreams. Roland Passot, owner of La Folie Restaurant, is on the Make a Wish Advisory Council. When Roland calls to ask chefs to participate in this special night we all quickly say yes. We volunteer our time and food as we want to help Make A Wish raise as much money as possible. Plus any event with Roland is worth attending.

There are two parts of the evening you can participate in. The first option is a walk around tasting of wines and hors d’oeuvres. There were at least 15 chefs and 15 wineries handing out delicious nibbles and wines to sip.  Both Farallon and Waterbar were part of the walk around hors d’oeuvres. Fred, the sous chef at Farallon, opened 1000 Beausoleil oysters and served them with traditional mignonette. Parke Ulrich, the chef at Waterbar, served Smoked Sturgeon Tea Sandwiches on Brioche with Caviar and Watercress. Here’s a picture of Parke’s sandwiches:


For the dinner the dining room was divided into 2 sections of 200 people each. There were 4 chefs for each side. Here’s the menu from “my side” of the dining room.

1st Course

Chef Roland Passot, La Folie Restaurant,

Dungeness Crab Salad-Cauliflower Panna Cotta, Curry Tuile, Curried Crab Vinaigrette

2nd Course

Chef Staffan Terje, Perbacco

Roasted Loin of Monkfish-Corona Bean and Black Chanterelle Stew, Green Garlic Brodetto

3rd Course

Chef Dominique Crenn, Luce Wine Restaurant

Beef Tenderloin “confit”, beef tongue, Bulgur” tabbouleh” , Buckwheat and pickled kumquat

4th Course

Chef Emily Luchetti

Almond Financier-Apple Marmalade, Crème Fraiche Chantilly

Heres’ a picture of my dessert plating in process. On the right is Lauren, the pastry chef at Waterbar.

We were able to line all 200 plates out at once. (Actually 250 as you always have to prepare a few extra for the wait staff and culinary student volunteers.) Here’s the finished product ready to go.

These events are a lot of fun not just because we are helping a great cause but we get to hang out with other chefs, see their work and have a god time. It is a good way to reconnect and to meet chefs you only know thorough food.

Oliver, the Make A Wish Honoree, is a student at the CIA on the Hyde Park campus. He helped us plate all the courses. His “wish” was to meet Thomas Keller and hang out with him at The French Laundry for a day. Make a Wish (and Thomas of course) made his dream come true. He is a serious enthusiastic young man who will make a great chef. Check out the local Make a Wish Chapter. Hopefully I will see you at the event next year. Mark your calendars- it will be on February 5, 2011.


Truffles- The Chocolate Kind

December 10, 2009


Recently I was on the San Francisco television show View from the Bay demonstrating how to make walnut cranberry truffles. Here is a link.

Truffles are a perfect holiday treat for many reasons.

  1. They are made with chocolate.
  2. They are small so you can indulge without going overboard.
  3. They last for quite a while so you can make them ahead.
  4. As a hostess gift they are something different than a bottle of wine.
  5. The flavor combinations are infinite.
  6. They are made with chocolate. Yes, I know that is # 1 but it bears repeating.

Here are a couple different recipes for truffles. If you take the chocolate from the fridge and it is too hard to scoop let sit at room temperature for a bit. Conversely, if it is too soft put back in the fridge. Enjoy!

Walnut Cranberry Truffles

Yield about 30, 3/4 to 1-inch truffles

3/4 cup heavy cream

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

1 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil just around the edges. Add the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the cranberries.

Transfer the chocolate mixture to a pie pan or 9 inch pan. Refrigerate until firm, 1-2 hours.

Using a teaspoon scoop the truffles. Return to the refrigerator and let firm up again, about 30 minutes.

Place the walnuts on a plate or pie pan. Roll the truffles in the nuts and then roll them lightly between your palms until they are a nice round shape.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Makes thirty 1-inch truffles

 1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, ground

Warm the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until hot and bubbling around the edges, about 3 minutes. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the cream over it. Let sit for 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the peanut butter. Spread the chocolate cream in a 9-inch pan or pie plate. Refrigerate until hard, at least 1 hour to overnight.

Place the ground peanuts on a plate or in a pie dish. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper.

Using a measuring teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out 30 heaping spoonfuls of the truffle mixture. Place them in a single layer on one of the prepared baking sheets. When all of the scoops have been made, lightly roll them between the palms of your hands to give them a nice round shape. If at any point the chocolate gets too warm and the truffles become difficult to roll, refrigerate the chocolate for 30 minutes until it firms up.

To scoop truffles: Dip the spoon or melon baller in hot water after every couple of scoops. Tap gently on the sheet pan to loosen the truffle mixture. To keep your hands clean while rolling truffles, where thin rubber gloves. This will also keep the truffles from getting too soft if you have hot hands.

Roll the truffles, a few at a time, in the ground peanuts. You may need to gently press the peanuts into the truffles to get them to stick. Place in a single layer on another wax paper- lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Before serving the truffles, let them sit at room temperature to soften slightly, 15 to 30 minutes. This will make them a little creamier.

Mocha Truffles

Makes thirty 1-inch truffles

3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream

1 tablespoon ground coffee

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

1/3 cup cocoa powder

Warm the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until hot and bubbling around the edges, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the coffee, and cover the pan. Let steep for 10 minutes.

Strain the cream into a bowl and discard the coffee. Return the cream to the pan. Again, heat the cream until it is bubbling around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat.

Put the two chocolates in a medium bowl and pour the cream over them. Let sit for 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Spread the chocolate cream in a 9-inch pan or pie plate. Refrigerate until hard, at least 1 hour. You can leave it overnight.

Place the cocoa powder on a plate or in a pie dish. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper.

Using a measuring teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out 30 heaping spoonfuls of the truffle mixture. Place them in a single layer on one of the prepared baking sheets. When all of the scoops have been made, lightly roll them between the palms of your hands to give them a nice round shape. If at any point the chocolate gets too warm and the truffles become difficult to roll, refrigerate the chocolate for 30 minutes until it firms up.

Roll the truffles, a few at a time, in the cocoa powder. Place in a single layer on the second baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Before serving the truffles, let them sit at room temperature to soften slightly, 15 to 30 minutes. This will make them a little creamier.


The Stars Years

November 5, 2009

The Original Stars Recipe Box

When I arrived in San Francisco in the mid 1980’s with cooking school and a few years of restaurant experience behind me, I was electrified by the food revolution taking place in the Bay Area.

Stars Restaurant opened in 1984 and I was part of the original team. We knew we were doing something different but we did not fully appreciate how Stars and other restaurants at that time would change the way Americans looked at food and what they ate. We were like Apple computer in Steve Jobs’ garage. We permanently changed American food culture right here in Northern California.

Working at Stars from 1984-1995 was a culinary wild ride. Jeremiah Tower’s was the creator and driving force behind the restaurant. His creativity and palate were brilliant. I have never met anyone like him since. The combination of JT, Mark Franz, and my co-chefs who have gone on to locally establish themselves in their own right (Bruce Hill, Loretta Keller, Wendy Brucker, and Colleen McGlynn among others) made the restaurant a culinary think tank.

For dessert I was making Summer Pudding, Stareos, Gingerbread with Apples and Cider Sabayon. Today these desserts seem common place and are now classics. Back then they were cutting edge.

Stars had one of the first open kitchens in the city. Not only could the customer see into the kitchen but the cooks could see into the dining room reinforcing the roles on each side. For the first time kitchen activity became part of the dining experience. One of the best things about Stars was how it made everyone equal. There would be a group of guys in baseball caps and jeans at the bar after a ball game eating pizza and drinking beers. In a corner table would be a couple formally dressed sipping champagne and having a few oysters. People would come in for dinner, leave their cars with the valet, go to the symphony or opera and come back afterwards for dessert. No one felt out of place. The excitement over the food and the wine was the common denominator.

Bay Area customers are some of the best in the country. Without an enthusiastic audience it wouldn’t be as much fun to bake.  In San Francisco, food has been always seen as a pleasure not just as a source of fuel. In San Francisco during the Gold Rush, there was a house of prostitution on every corner. The way the businesses distinguished themselves was through the “free lunch” they would offer customers. Every house had girls, but the ones that distinguished themselves were the ones with the best food.

The suppliers back then were eccentric. I remember Rocky the berry man. He would show up on Monday after promising to be there on the previous Friday, so hung over you knew he had just crawled out from under some rock. We would be annoyed he was late but his blackberries and raspberries were so incredible we would take as many cases as he would let us have. It was a dysfunctional relationship but we didn’t care. We were as addicted as he was.

On one level California Cuisine with its eat local and let the food speak for itself mantras is simplistic and straightforward. Our food is not hiding behind sauces and garnishes. But when you look deeper you see the complexity of the relationships between the ingredients and the chef and the underlying spirit of California. It is this relationship that makes cooking in CA so dynamic and exciting.

Stars Restaurant wasn’t that long ago so there are many people in the city who were a part of that experience either as a customer or an employee. There are many young people and newcomers to the area who came to the city after it closed. I wish they all could have seen it. It was a magical place.

In retrospect I am fortunate I moved to San Francisco when I did. It was fundamental to who I would become as a chef. The simultaneous timing of my arrival in California and the growth of California cuisine couldn’t have been planned. It was plain luck. And I thank the stars for that.


Happy Birthday Cecilia

October 15, 2009

Cecilia Cupcakes

Last Sunday I had the honor of attending Cecilia Chang’s 90th birthday party. It was a party worthy of someone celebrating 90 years. Chefs and food people from all over the Bay Area were there to help her celebrate. Cecilia is not only a feisty vibrant woman but a culinary icon. I would be content if I could emulate just a bit of what she has accomplished in her life.  

Cecilia was the owner of The Mandarin Restaurant. It was THE Chinese restaurant in San Francisco for decades. Anyone who was anyone used to go there to eat but Cecilia was also just as gracious to the average person who dined there. She introduced Americans to authentic Chinese food. Born in Beijing and escaping just before the Communist takeover in 1949, Cecilia has had a fascinating life. If you want to learn more about her (and find recipes to make some of her favorite dishes) pick up the book The Seventh Daughter that Cecilia wrote with Lisa Weiss about her life.

The food at the party was prepared by Betelnut Chefs, Alex Ong, Michael Siegel, Leland Cheung, & Meena Reisetta, The Door Chef Daniel Sudar , and South Legend Chef Bill He. They are all masters. Here’s the feast we had:

Dry-Farmed Early Girl Tomatoes with Paneer & Xi’an Black Vinegar

Local Albacore Sashimi with Ponzu, Arare & Chile D’Arbol

Smoked Duck Breast with Peachy Pepper Jam

 Ya Li Asian Pear Kimchi and Sea Salt

 Spicy Pork Dumplings

 Crispy Cauliflower, Tribal Salt, and Chile Pepper

 Turmeric Braised Goat Belly with Jalapeno Vinegar & Lime

 Petite Portobello Mushroom “Char Siu” Buns

 Aceh Vegetable Salad with Emping & Spicy Palm Sugar Coconut Dressing

 Mizuna and Asian Pear Salad with Shaved Fennel and Toasted Marcona Almonds

 Whole Roasted Pig with Anise-Chile Broth

 South Legend Spicy Sichuan Lamb

 Cha Ca La Vong—Turmeric Sea Bass with Herbs, Chilies, Rice Noodles & Peanuts

As you can tell from the menu, the buffet was extensive. The chefs would constantly bring out new dishes so we never let the table out of our sight for fear of missing a dish. I made sure I ate everything.

Cecilia loves chocolate so Elizabeth Falkner and I made chocolate cupcakes. My sister, Anne Underhill, is an archaeologist who specializes in the Chinese Neolithic Period. She and one of her Chinese grad students sent me a pdf file of the Chinese character for long life. In red colored white chocolate we drew this character on thin pieces of tempered chocolate and placed them into the cupcakes. It was a pretty cool to see 150 cupcakes all wishing long life.


Books for Cooks

October 1, 2009



In my next life I want to be Celia Sack, the owner of Omnivore Books in San Francisco. I have always loved all types of books- Scholastic books in grade school, biographies, fiction, and nonfiction, table top, used- anything with words on a page. And cookbooks are even better. I love the idea of being surrounded by books about food all day. It’s like putting a kid in a candy store. I think subconsciously I wrote my first cookbook not only to share recipes but to have my name listed in the Library of Congress among all the famous authors. 

Celia’s shop is devoted solely to books on cooking, food, and everything related to these subjects. It is an oasis. I walk in the door and I want to stay for hours and sometimes do. Omnivore Books has all the cookbook authors you expect to see plus books about food, agriculture, wine, foreign publishers with book in both English and other languages, and vintage books. I love the old, small, mostly, English baking books that have intricate sketches of pastry equipment. There are also obscure books that you have never heard of but once you know they exist you have to have them. Like the cookbook I found yesterday called Royal Recipes. It focuses on dishes made for the Kings of England throughout history. She also has wine and old food labels. But don’t go looking for any pastry ones this week- I just bought them all. You will have to wait until she restocks. (Sorry- but really I’ m not.)



Besides its wide inventory what makes Omnivore Books so special is Celia. When you walk in the door you are immediately caught up in her enthusiasm and passion for her books. I call them her books because she intimately knows about each one. You mention a book and she says- “Oh, it is right over here.” Followed by, “Have you seen this one, this is a wonderful book.”

With the stash of books I got yesterday I am having a reading marathon this weekend. The stack of books by my bed makes navigating in and out of the covers cumbersome. Time to clear them out so I can get ready for the next pile that I know I will pick up the next time I stop by Omnivore Books.



Happy Anniversary KitchenAid!

September 24, 2009

KA anniv machine

The first gift my husband ever gave me was my KitchenAid stand mixer. That was a clear sign he was worth keeping around. Who else knew I would prefer a heavy metal object over a cashmere sweater or silver necklace? My mixer is a white 5 quart and it has seen me through the testing of 5 dessert cookbooks, family and friends’ birthday cakes, countless dinner party desserts and years of Christmas cookie marathons. I cannot even begin to imagine the number of times I have whipped cream in my machine. Come to think of it, it would have been cool if it had a meter that logged the number of minutes used. If my mixer could talk it would have a lot of memories to share. The good news is twenty years later I still have my husband and my mixer. They are both going strong and a vital part of my life.

Even though my mixer is working well and I would not give it up for the world when I heard about the 90th anniversary stand mixer and looked it up online my instant reaction was I have to get one. Then I said to myself- Don’t be silly, you don’t need a new mixer, yours is working fine. That thought lasted for about 24 hours until I went into the Sur La Table at The Ferry Building in San Francisco and Will, the general manager, showed me the new machine. Once I laid my eyes on it I knew it would only be a matter of time before it ended up on my kitchen counter. It is an absolutely gorgeous machine. The color is a deep cherry red, deeper than the red in their standard machine. It has a bit of a metallic sheen to it. Then there is the glass bowl. The thick glass is reminiscent of the mixers of the 50’s but you still get the work horse machine that KitchenAid mixers are known for. Retro and modern. I stare at it the way a mother stares at her newborn baby. I can’t take my eyes off of it. People come in the house and I instantly show it off.

But rest assured I have not given up my old machine. It is tried and true and deserves a rest. With all the baking and testing I do they will both get plenty of mileage. My two machines sit side by side. Visually they complement each other and I like to think they keep each other company.

Here’s is the recipe for the first thing I made in my new 90th anniversary mixer. Appropriately it is one of my husband’s favorites.

Almond Biscotti

Makes about 36

3 large whole eggs

3 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon anise seeds

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Grated zest of 1 lime

Grated zest of 1 orange

1 2/3 cups (7 ounces) whole natural almonds, toasted

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, lightly whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Set aside.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, anise seeds, and all the citrus zests in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until mixed. Add the egg mixture and continue to mix until almost completely incorporated, about 15 seconds. Add the almonds and mix until the dough comes together.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into thirds. Shape each third into a log about 10 inches long. Place 2 logs on a prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Place the third log on the second baking sheet.

Bake until light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool on the pans to room temperature.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

Transfer the logs to a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, slice crosswise on a slight diagonal, 3/4 inch thick. Place the slices, cut side up, on 1 baking sheet and return to the oven. Bake until golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes. Let cool on the pan to room temperature.

Planning Ahead

The biscotti may be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.