Saturday, May 23, 2009

Orange-Almond Biscotti

Biscotti is a biscuit that is baked twice in the oven, producing a subtly-sweet, ultra-crisp cookie that is then typically served with espresso based drinks. The biscotti will store well for several weeks in an air-tight container, but good luck trying to keep them in your house that long.  My kids gobbled these down in no time flat.


2 cups flour*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup whole almonds with skins
2 tablespoons orange zest (from 1 large orange)

*The original recipe called for unbleached all-purpose flour, which I substituted for 1 cup ground spelt flour and 1 cup ground whole wheat flour.

1. Toast almonds in medium-size saute pan over medium heat until skins are browned, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and then chop coarse.

2. Sift together flour(s), baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Beat butter and sugar together in bowl of electric mixer until light and smooth; add eggs one at a time, then extracts.

4. Stir in almonds and orange zest.

5. Sift dry ingredients over egg mixture, then fold in until dough is just combined.

6. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Halve dough and turn each portion onto an oiled cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Using floured hands, stretch each portion of dough into a rough 13- x 2-inch log, placing them about 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Pat each dough shape to smooth it.

7. Bake, turning pan once, until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

8. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. Cut each loaf diagonally into 3/8-inch slice with a serrated knife. Lay the slices about 1/2-inch apart on the cookie sheet, cut side up, and return them to the oven. Bake, turning over each cookie halfway through baking, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes.

9. Transfer biscotti to wire rack and cool completely.

Yields: 3-4 dozen Each biscotti contains approximately: Calories 74; Total Fat 2.6g; Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 29mg; Total Carbohydrates 11.5g; Sugars 5.7g; Protein 1.5g; Vitamin A 1%; Vitamin C 1%; Calcium 1%; Iron 3%

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated; Modifications mine.


Anonymous said...

Biscotti is always a great gift to give during the holiday season.

I, like most people, thought it was something exotic and difficult to make.

It's almost foolproof!

koam said...

When I made this dough, it was extremely dry. I added cold water by the teaspoon in order to pull it together without overworking it. It was still drier than shown in your logs on baking sheet photo. I've reviewed the recipe several times (I have the book) and didn't miss any ingredients or mis-measure. Maybe my eggs were on the small side and a little dry. Anyway, the logs are I'll see how it worked out.