It has been customary for me to make biscotti each year at Christmas as I find it’s such a nice thing to have on hand for holiday visits and special mornings. I’ll usually give it as gifts too, thinking maybe others might find it useful for the same. Not quite so guilt ridden as other holiday sweets, yet still is such a nice treat. But of course, you can enjoy them any time of year!
This recipe is reminiscent of the famous Terry’s Chocolate orange, with an added hint of cardamom because it just goes so nicely with orange and am always looking for the opportunity to add spices especially at Christmas. I learned a great tip from Nibbled Dish which is to use raw sugar as it adds a nice crunch factor to the biscotti. You could use an alternate sweetener (and might just need to add a little extra flour if it’s a liquid variety).
Sit back and relax with a nice hot cup of something good to dip into with these. Adapted from Nibbled Dish’s Almond Anise Biscotti.
2 Cups Spelt or Kamut Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon orange zest (loosely packed)
1 cup roughly chopped raw almonds
3/4 cup raw sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 egg white
8 ounces dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cardamom in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, beat the two eggs using a standing electric mixer. If mixing by hand, you may want to lightly knead the dough by hand once all ingredients are somewhat combined with a spoon. Add the sugar, orange zest and almonds and mix to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture with the mixer set at low speed.
Once the dough is combined, form two balls of dough with your hands. Shape these into loaf-like discs on two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Ensure you’ve left at least a few inches between each loaf to allow room to rise. Brush the tops of the loaves with egg white. Bake for 25 minutes.
Allow loafs to cool, and reduce heat to 325°F. Keep cookie sheets aside for the second bake. Using a sharp knife, slice the biscotti at an angle. If you have cooling racks, place them directly onto the cookie sheets, then the biscotti on top of the cooling racks. This allows them cook evenly with the heat circulating them. Otherwise, place the biscotti directly onto the cookie sheet, sliced side down, and flip half way through the second bake. Bake for a total of 15 minutes.
Once the biscotti have cooled, place a piece of wax paper onto a cookie sheet. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Dip the bottom of the biscotti in chocolate, and garnish with more orange zest if you like. Once the biscotti are all dipped, place them in the fridge to allow for chocolate to harden. These will keep for at least 2 weeks stored in an airtight container on the counter, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
In shaping the loaf, feel free to use whichever dimensions suit you best depending on the size of biscotti you prefer. Keep in mind, the loaf will expand a little, and slicing at the angle will increase the length of the biscotti.
Although it takes a little patience, allowing the loafs to cool is an important step, otherwise the loaf may squish or crumble when you try to cut into it. A serrated bread knife works best for slicing the loaf.