Several 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
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Make The Dough
- Put the orange peel and sugar in a food processor fit with a steel blade and process until very finely chopped.
- Put the flour and cocoa powder in a sieve over a large bowl and push it through the sieve to break up any clumps.
- Add the baking powder, cinnamon and salt to the flour mixture and stir to mix.
- Add the orange peel/sugar and the chocolate to the flour mixture.
- In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oil and vanilla together.
- Mix the egg mixture with the flour mixture until combined.
- Turn the dough out onto an unfloured board and knead it a few times to bring it all together.
- Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a log about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long.
- Place each log on the cookie sheet, leaving several inches between them.
- Wet your fingers and smooth the tops of the logs, then sprinkle them with sugar.
- Bake the logs for about 30 minutes, until the tops are firm.
- 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.
- Place the slices, cut side down, on the cookie sheet.
- Bake, at 350 degrees (F) about 10 minutes, turning the cookies over halfway through. Be careful not to overbake.
- The cookies are fairly delicate when warm, so let them cool completely on the cookie sheet.