Orange, Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

Orange, Chocolate and Almond Biscotti


~ Orange, Chocolate and Almond Biscotti ~

Biscotti are a twice-baked crisp Italian cookie, famously crunchy and perfect for dipping in coffee or milk. Many variations exist, including the traditional anise or almond biscotti, as well as cocoa infused chocolate biscotti. In this recipe I threw in everything I like in a cookie: chocolate, raisins, toasted almonds and orange zest. It sounds like a busy list of ingredients, but the resulting cookie was delightfully simple and not overly sweet.

Orange, Chocolate and Almond Biscotti
I added raisins to the biscotti as an afterthought for a little sweetness and texture; they may be omitted if you prefer a drier biscotti. I recommend using golden raisins for their color and flavor if you can find them.

Makes  approximately 30 biscotti.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Cointreau or Gran Marnier
1  teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping tablespoon orange zest
3.5 ounces (100 g.) finely chopped or grated dark chocolate
1 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
3/4 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl of an electric mixer. Mix briefly to combine. Whisk eggs, oil, orange liqueur, vanilla and zest together in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the flour. Beat on medium speed until combined, 1 minute. Stir in chocolate, raisins and almonds.
Divide dough in half. Transfer to baking sheet and shape each half into a log the length of the baking sheet. Flatten each log into a 2 inch wide strip. Bake until firm and beginning to color, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.
Reduce oven to 300 F. (150 C.)  Transfer biscotti to a cutting board. Cut in 3/4 inch strips with a serrated knife.  Arrange cut side down on baking sheet. Bake until they are lightly golden, about 20 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking. Remove from oven and cool completely on racks. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

Dried Cherry and Pistachio Biscotti

Dried Cherry and Pistachio Biscotti

~ Dried Cherry and Pistachio Biscotti ~

In my never-ending quest to create new recipes to please my family and my readers, I rarely follow a published recipe to a “t”.  Instead I create, tweak and spin recipes to my taste, reading cookbooks and magazines for inspiration then casting them aside while I let my thoughts simmer and stew until a wisp of the season, a sudden craving or an irresistable market item presents itself as motivation. Except for these biscotti.

This recipe is nearly a direct re-production of a recipe from Bon Appetit. It follows the recipe almost to the “t”, and then a change I made was not my idea at all, but the idea of my friend, Pam, who brought these cookies to our annual Summer Solstice beach barbecue this summer. I knew I was in trouble when I found myself walking around the beach munching on 2 fistfuls of these cookies before we even started grilling.

These biscotti have everything that I like in a cookie: fruit, nuts, a restrained sweetness, and the perfume from orange zest. Pam’s idea was not to fully bake them to enamel-cracking crispness. Instead they were baked to a wonderful crumbly perfection, which begged for more tasting without breaking my teeth, enabling further eating – to which I happily complied.

~
Dried Cherry and Pistachio Biscotti
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Makes  approximately 30 biscotti

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Zest from one orange
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios

Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.)  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the first 6 ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle. Blend on low speed, 30 seconds. Whisk eggs, oil, zest, vanilla and almond extracts together in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the flour. Beat on medium speed until combined, 1 minute. Stir in cherries and pistachios.
Divide dough in half. Shape each dough half into a 16 inch log. Arrange on a baking sheet, spaced 5 inches apart. Flatten each log into a 2 inch wide strip. Bake until golden brown and set, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack. Cool 15 minutes.
Reduce oven to 250 F. (125 C.)  Transfer biscotti to a cutting board. Cut in 3/4 inch strips with a serrated knife. Return biscotti to the baking sheet and arrange cut side down. Bake until firm and golden, 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on racks.
Biscotti may be made up to 3 days in advance. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.