Some people will say biscotti are too involved, too much work, or too time consuming. However, the thing that we like about baking biscotti is that they do take time, which allows us to do other things while creating masterpieces. Some times more than others we exhibit shorter attention spans in our house, which is a great time to make biscotti. We can mix, shape, and bake our biscotti and then take time to go for a bike ride, read a few books, or ponder whether or not a cherry tree will grow in our belly if we swallow the cherry pit. When we have time, we bake them again. Then we play monster, match the clean socks in the laundry, or ponder whether or not a watermelon vine will grow out our ears if we swallow a watermelon seed. When we have time, we finish the biscotti with melted chocolate, glazes, or some other sweet topping. Then we talk about whether or not we will turn into biscotti from eating too many biscotti. The consensus in our house is a definite “no.” Although I am always quick to ask what type of biscotti the kids would want to be if they could be any flavor. I am always looking for our next experiment.
Baking biscotti is not like hosting a dinner party where you are constantly reminded to prepare as much as you can ahead of time so that you can enjoy your company, keeping everyone out of the kitchen. Baking biscotti is all about getting everyone in the kitchen and involved in the creative process. A friend came over last weekend so we could do a little catching up and a little biscotti baking. She was a biscotti virgin so we perused the Biscotti Bin and she decided on Orange Chocolate Biscotti. Every bite of these biscotti were fabulous! As she said, “I think I missed my calling,” and I couldn’t agree more. It is her creative vision, but she agreed to let me share it. I later found out that although she intended to share them with her co-workers, the batch didn’t quite make it through the weekend. That’s how good these biscotti are! We topped some with melted chocolate and candied orange peels and drizzled others with an orange glaze (recipe follows).
Orange Chocolate Biscotti
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup 100% dark cocoa powder
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
1 ½ teaspoon orange extract
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup candied orange peels
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 cocoa powder.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites (save the two reamaining yolks to top the logs before baking), 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 chocolate chips and orange peels, kneading 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. Whisk together the two remaining egg yolks. Brush the top of the logs with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
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.
10. Dip in melted chocolate and sprinkle with candied orange peels or drizzle with an orange glaze (mix 1 cup powered sugar with 1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate or freshly squeezed orange juice).
What to do with the ends #19: Arrange the ends as an obstacle course for remote control cars.