Chocolate Orange Biscotti

Chocolate Orange BiscottiSeveral years ago we were lucky enough to spend a few weeks in and around Florence.  In a tiny gelateria near the Ponte Santa Trinita I fell in love with a flavor combination - dark chocolate and orange.  Since I haven’t been able to figure out a way to have them ship me transatlantic gelato, I try to grab that flavor combination whenever I find it.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t pop up all that often.  I decided that if I can’t find it, I better make it.  Here, as mentioned in my post about candied orange peel, is the first chocolate/orange cookie recipe.

A few notes about the recipe.  Once I got it pretty close to where I wanted it, I baked off both logs, then sliced and baked one and wrapped and froze the other.  I found it much easy to slice the frozen and slightly defrosted log than the just-baked one.  Also, after baking off the cookies for the second time, I froze some (yes, you guessed it, I was eating them out of the cookie jar and needed to hide them from myself).  When I defrosted them I liked the flavor even better – the chocolate had become a bit more prominent, and they had softened a tiny bit, both of which I think served the cookie well.

CHOCOLATE ORANGE BISCOTTI

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, less 2 tablespoons
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • Scant 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Rounded 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (the “darker” the better)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus a couple of tablespoons more to sprinkle on the logs  Tip:  If you made the candied orange peel, this would be an excellent place to use the orange scented/flavored sugar.
  • 1 cup candied orange peel
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla  extract

Get Ready

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Make The Dough

  1. Put the orange peel and sugar in a food processor fit with a steel blade and process until very finely chopped.
  2. Put the flour and cocoa powder in a sieve over a large bowl and push it through the sieve to break up any clumps.
  3. Add the baking powder, cinnamon and salt to the flour mixture and stir to mix.
  4. Add the orange peel/sugar and the chocolate to the flour mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oil and vanilla together.
  6. Mix the egg mixture with the flour mixture until combined.
  7. Turn the dough out onto an unfloured board and knead it a few times to bring it all together.

First Baking

  1. Divide the dough in half.  Shape each half into a log about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long.
  2. Place each log on the cookie sheet, leaving several inches between them.
  3. Wet your fingers and smooth the tops of the logs, then sprinkle them with sugar.
  4. Bake the logs for about 30 minutes, until the tops are firm.

Second Baking

  1. When the logs have cooled completely (or, even better, after you’ve frozen them and defrosted them slightly), cut them on the diagonal into 1/3 inch slices.
  2. Place the slices, cut side down, on the cookie sheet.
  3. Bake, at 350 degrees (F) about 10 minutes, turning the cookies over halfway through.  Be careful not to overbake.
  4. The cookies are fairly delicate when warm, so let them cool completely on the cookie sheet.
Yield:  48-60 cookies, depending on the thickness of your slices.

 

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