One or two biscotti are a terrific compliment to a cup of coffee or a mug of tea. Just about any flavor will do, whether you like anise flavoring or you prefer your biscotti dunked in chocolate. These Orange Almond Biscotti are certainly a good option. Biscotti are twice baked cookies that are known for being dry, crisp and having a long shelf life. These biscotti are richer than most biscotti recipes and use a fair amount of butter, and so they have a more tender texture and are a little less “hard” than some other biscotti. They still go extremely well with coffee, of course, they just don’t need to be dunked into the cup to be edible.
The primary flavor in these biscotti is orange, and the flavor all comes from fresh orange zest. I used about three tablespoons of orange zest from two large oranges just to flavor the batch – and it comes through in a wonderfully fragrant batter and very flavorful cookies. Sliced almonds are added to the batter, as well, adding a very subtle almond flavor and a lot of crunch.
Dip these biscotti into some melted dark or semisweet chocolate to dress them up after baking, especially if you are planning to serve these as dessert with coffee or intend to pack them up to send off as a gift for the holidays. Chocolate and orange blend together perfectly. The biscotti keep well when stored in an airtight container, so the biscotti make a treat that will last around the house all week long, as well as one that ships well to family and friends.
Orange Almond Biscotti
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
5-oz (2/3 cup) sliced almonds, toasted
2-3 tbsp fresh orange zest, from 2 oranges
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the egg white and vanilla extract.
With the mixer on a slow speed, gradually incorporate the flour mixture, stirring just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in orange zest and sliced almonds.
Divide the dough in half. Shape one half of the dough into a log about 2 1/2-in high and 8-10-in long (log should be quite narrow) on the prepared baking sheet (dough will be sticky; use a spatula or bench scraper, or flour your hands to make it easier to shape). Dough will spread, so repeat the process with the rest of the dough on another baking sheet.
Bake logs for about 30 minutes, until dark golden and set. Cookies will spring back when lightly pressed in the center.
Allow dough log to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then slice into cookies 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick using a sharp chefs knife or serrated knife. Arrange upright on baking sheet.
Lower oven temperature to 350F. Bake cookies a second time for 20-25 minutes, until they are lightly browned on the sides and slightly crisp. Top and bottom of the biscotti should be relatively dark.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 2 dozen.