Even though I don’t have an ounce of Italian blood in me, biscotti are one of my favorite cookies to bake and eat. There is something so satisfying about the crunchy, nutty flavors of homemade biscotti. Traditionally, biscotti are made with almonds, but many times in America you see them at coffee houses and restaurants with a wide array of ingredients. I am sort of in the middle about what I like to add to my biscotti recipes. I prefer almonds or pistachios in the dough, but also a hint of citrus zest to create a floral note. As far as chocolate, well…I usually throw a little in for my husband, who thinks it isn’t dessert without chocolate.
In this recipe, I use an extract from King Arthur Flour called Fiori di Sicilia. This extract has a vanilla citrus aroma, which gives these biscotti an extra hint of fruity flavor — the smell reminds me of walking in an orange grove with the trees all in bloom. The combination of orange, almond and chocolate make these biscotti extra special, so serve them at your next gathering to your family and friends.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia or orange extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 orange
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons organic sugar, or coarse sugar
(Makes 2 1/2 Dozen)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a stand mixer, combine the eggs, granulated sugar and Fiori di Sicilia. Beat the mixture on high speed for 4-5 minutes or until light in color. I like to cover my mixer with a kitchen towel, so the batter doesn’t spray the room.
2. Then, add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
3. Next, add the orange zest, almonds and chocolate chips. Mix on low for 30 seconds.
4. Using damp hands, remove the dough from the bowl and form it into 2 logs – 12 x 3 inches long. You may need to lightly wet your hands several times to get the dough shaped properly.
5. Sprinkle the tops of each log with organic sugar or any kind of coarse sugar including; turbinado or sugar crystals.
6. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the biscotti are firm, but not dark in color.
7. Remove the biscotti from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before placing them on a cutting board. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Using a serrated knife, slice the logs into 1-inch wide cookies.
8. Place the biscotti back on the baking sheet, flat side down and bake again for 1 hour, or until firm to the touch. Remove the biscotti from the oven and let cool on the pan for 15 minutes.
9. Serve immediately or store in your favorite cookie jar to indulge on later. Enjoy!