Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chocolate-Orange Biscotti

One family tradition that I can't seem to shake is baking cookies for Christmas.  When I was growing up all four of my sisters and I would bake batches and batches of a variety of cookies.  Biscotti wasn't in our repertoire, but it was in my Nana's and every year we enjoyed homemade authentic biscotti.  She also made a rum cake that I never learned to appreciate, but that's a different story.  This year I made a mix of cookies and small breads.  Pictured above are chocolate-orange biscotti that I made this year, so good and so easy!  Especially easy because I cheated and instead of using chopped bittersweet chocolate, I used Nestle's semi-sweet chips.  My secret is safe, right?

Chocolate-Orange Biscotti  
Recipe from Epicurious
Makes about 3 dozen
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl to blend. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add the liqueur and orange peel. Add flour mixture and beat until blended. Stir in pecans and chocolate. Gather dough together; divide in half. Wrap in plastic and freeze 20 minutes to firm. 

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Using floured hands, form each dough piece into 14-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer parchment with logs to rack. Cool 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. 

Place 1 log on cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut log on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Stand slices upright on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining log. 

Bake biscotti until dry to touch and pale golden, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on rack. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container.)


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