In a mixing bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in anise or vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture. Stir in almonds. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease foil. Divide dough in half; spread into two 12-in. x 3-in. rectangles on foil. Brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Remove from oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees F. Lift rectangles with foil onto wire rack; cool for 15 minutes.
Place on a cutting board; slice diagonally ½ in. thick. Place slices with cut side down on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake 10 minutes more. Turn oven off, leaving cookies in oven with door ajar to cool. Store in airtight container.
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