Fall is in full swing and the season of hot beverages is upon us. We usually stick to the traditional hot cocoa, warm apple cider, coffee, and tea. But recently we started looking for other hot drinks to warm our hands after those increasingly chilly walks home from school. We stumbled upon some more outlandish drinks like Bubblin’ Hot Swamp Juice, Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate, and Melted Ice Cream Cocoa. We never realized how many different kinds of cider there are, including Buttered Orange Cider, Apple Cranberry Cider, and Spiked Wassail. Some obviously more kid-friendly than others. We need to start experimenting.
Grandma was just here for a visit and her favorite hot drink is Earl Grey tea. So we made her some Early Grey Biscotti with Almonds and Homemade Candied Orange Peels. We used the recipe for candied orange peels in Dolci: Italy’s Sweets. We incorporated the tea not only in the dough, but we combined the contents of one tea bag with a tablespoon of sugar and pressed it on top of each log. Not only does it become highly aromatic as the biscotti bakes, but the tops look extra special dotted with little dark flecks of tea.
Earl Grey Biscotti with Almonds and Candied Orange Peels
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for the topping
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of earl grey tea or the contents of approximately 10 earl grey tea bags, plus one more tea bag for the topping
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 heaping cup chopped of candied orange peels
½ cup almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and tea.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, vanilla extract, and orange extract.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Add the dried candied orange peels and almonds and knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.
6. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
7. Mix 1 tablespoon sugar and the content of one tea bag. Press the mixture on top of each log.
8. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
9. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
What to do with the ends #39: Grate the ends with a box grater and saute in some butter to create a crumbly topping perfect for adding a little crunchy sweetness to a big bowl of ice cream or the top of cupcakes.