Orange Almond Biscotti
December 11, 2010, 5:17 pm
Filed under: Cookies, Easy but not quick, Holidays

Biscotti are those fancy cookies you pay $3 for one of in a coffee shop. People go “oo aa you make biscotti? oo aaa!” but let me tell you, it’s easy to make, doesn’t take any fancy tools or ingredients. And, because they’re PRE-STALE… they make great gifts because they don’t go stale, they’re already there!

Now, I make them good and hard. They’re practically impossible to eat unless you dunk them in something hot. Hard as rocks, they are. Delicious rocks.
This recipe is pretty basic, and if you’re adventurous youcan shake it up by using different nuts, throwing in raisins,dried cherries or cranberries, add cinnamon or nutmeg (or both!), depending on your sense of adventure. Or… youcan make it exactly by this recipe and have a delicious, crunchy cookie that your kids will ask for instead of a fancydinner for their birthday. I know this is true because just this morning my 21 year old son passed up the opportunity for steak sandwiches with gorgonzola-red pepper sauce to get a batch of these.

Here we go.

Orange Almond biscotti
1 cup whole almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teapoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 heaping tablespoon fresh orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and toast the almonds for about 10 minutes until they are lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool then chop coarsely.

I like to chop them by hand, a food processor makes some too fine, some too coarse

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Lightly oil a cookie sheet.

In a small bowl beat together the eggs, extracts, and orange zest

In the bowl of your mixer, combine the dry stuff

Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff and throw in the almonds sometime

Let the mixer (or your hands) work it until it's all combined and a stiff dough

Dump the dough onto a counter and form it into a log about 12 inches long

Bake the log in a 300 degree oven for about 40 minutes, until it’s (very) lightly browned and firm to the touch. Let it cool for 10 minutes (but not more!!) and slice it into 1/2 inch thick slices. A serrated knife works best for this. If you wait until it’s completely cooled to slice, it will make a crumbled mess and be near-impossible. So, let it cool NO MORE THAN 10 minutes. I reckon you could try to slice it after 5 minutes, but it might be kind of hot to handle.

Lay the slices back on the cookie sheet, and bake at 300 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes more, turning after 15 minutes. now, I have a convection oven and find that baking them at 275 degrees on convect makes a stellar hard, dry cookie, so if you have that option, USE IT. If not, you’re cookies will be fine, it just takes a little bit longer for them to bake.

All baked and toasty

After they’re done and out of the oven, melt half a bag of your favorite chocolate chips (I use Hershey’s Special Dark) in the microwave. Put them in a bowl, melt for 30 seconds, stir, do it again for 15 seconds, stir, and again for another 10 seconds at a time until it’s allmelted and a wee bit runny.
Then dip a fork in the chocolate and sling it all over the cookies, or you can dip the cookies in the chocolate, however you see fit. I like to sling the stuff because I need an excuse to change my clothes.

With chocolate slung all over. I get the one with the blob.

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