When the holidays roll around, all anyone can ask me is this: “Will we be getting biscotti this year?” My biscotti gifts have literally become synonymous with Christmas and I have, in fact, been scolded by more than one person on the years when my baking has been neglected. This year, however, I was like a woman on crack, chained to her oven – baking a minimum of three different things between 9pm-2am every night for a week in the lead up to all those Christmas dinners. And let me tell you that was no easy feat, I was waking up the next morning with sore shoulders, pulled muscles and a neck that woldn’t move. Anyway, of course those precious smiles and heaps of gratitude made it all worth it in the end! With every new batch I play around with different ingredients, but here is the recipe for one of my favourites.
Recipe: Almond Biscotti with Orange Zest and Chocolate Drizzle.
What You Need:
1 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted and chopped coarsely
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 (to 3/4) cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1 tbsp (approx) fresh orange zest
3 ounces (85 grams) semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp vegetable shortening
What To Do:
Preheat overn to 350F/180C.
Toast almonds for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely, I recommend using a food processor for this if you can. Set aside.
Reduce over temp to 300F/150C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and extracts together, along with orange zest. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and stir until well-blended. Gradually add the egg mixture and mix until a dough forms, adding the chopped almonds about halfway through. At this point I usually use my hands to mix everything in more easily. Flour your hands and divide the dough in half, then place on a lightly floured surface. Roll each half of dough into a log about 10″ long and 2″ wide (the dough is usually sticky so I just try and get them as even and rectangular as possible). Transfer logs to prepared baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, of until firm to the touch (keep in mind that the logs will spread a bit while baking). Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes.
Once cooled, transfer logs to a cutting board and cut into 1/2″ thick slices on a diagonal using a serrated knife. Arrange pieces evenly on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then turn each piece over and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the chocolate glaze, melt chocolate and veggie shortening (ps. I love orange chocolate so I added a few drops of orange extract here) in a small metal bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. When melted, place chocolate into a clean small plastic bag (like a ziplock bag) and snip one corner. Pipe onto the biscotti in a decorative pattern. Other alternatives are dipping the biscotti straight into the melted chocolate, or spreading the chocolate onto the tops of the biscotti using a spatula or knife.
Makes approx 40 biscotti.
Enjoy! Questions? Comment or email me! xo