Yesterday, I made a biscotti that falls in the second category.
As I mentioned, I’m gearing up for a big family visit and I want to have treats in the house. Plus, we are hosting a dessert/coffee and, therefore, need desserts. For just a simple nibble, I thought I’d make a good, dunking cookie. Not too decadent, but one that makes you feel like you have had a special something and haven’t been completely denied (for those of us that would like to lose a few lbs. before bathing suit season starts).
I took a look through the old stacks of magazines and came across one that I bought around holiday-time last year. I’m a total sucker for magazines that are best-of compilations and purchased “The Best of fine Cooking: Cookies”. There are some gorgeous looking cookies of all varieties in this edition. Triple Orange Pecan Biscotti caught my eye.
The last time that I made biscotti, they were less the dunking sort and more the rich, chocolate dipped, big cookie variety. Based on the photograph in the magazine, I wasn’t sure how big these would be when they were completed.
Here is what I found out about this recipe. The biscotti are:
2) On the smallish side (or, rather, not tall – you can slice them pretty long, though)
3) Sweet, but not too sweet
5) Easy to make, sort of.
Everything went well in the mixing. I love the fact that the recipe uses olive oil instead of butter. It is so easy and adds a little extra, though barely perceptible, fruitiness. But, the shaping of the dough into logs was very messy. The dough is almost a batter, it is so sticky. So, if you choose to try these (and, I do recommend the recipe), make sure that the surface you are using to shape the logs is VERY well COATED with flour. You’ll need it. I also only waited for about 10 minutes after removing the cookies from the oven before I did my slicing. I was afraid that the logs would harden up if they cooled too much.
Triple-Orange Pecan Biscotti
from Fine Cooking Magazine
makes about 60 cookies
12 oz. (2 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling the dough portions
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. table salt
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges (to yield a scant ¼ cup lightly packed)
4 ½ oz. (1 cup) coarsely chopped pecans – I weighed this and it was a bit more than 1 cup
3 large eggs, at room temperature
5 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
1 Tbs. orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
Position oven racks in the middle and top of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, and salt to combine. Put a bit of the flour mixture in a small bowl, add the orange zest, and rub the zest into the flour to keep it from clumping. Stir the coated zest and the pecans into the rest of the flour mixture. [Here, I figured that I wouldn’t dirty another bowl and just mixed the zest into the top of flour with my fingers before thoroughly mixing it in along with the pecans.]
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the olive oil, orange juice, and liqueur until well blended. Pour into the center of the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is blended. The dough will be very sticky. Very, very sticky.
Dump the dough onto a heavily floured work surface and divide into six equal portions. [Make sure to have a lot of flour handy!] Roll each portion into a log that’s 12 inches long, dusting with flour along the way to keep the dough from sticking. Set the logs about 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and then press gently to flatten each log so that it’s 1 ½ to 2 inches wide.
Bake until the logs are golden and the tops are fairly firm near the center, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets and switching their positions after 10 minutes to ensure even baking. Set the sheets on racks until the logs are cool enough to handle, 20 to 30 minutes. [I waited 10 minutes] Leave the oven set to 350°F.
Transfer the logs to a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, saw them on a sharp diagonal into slices ½ inch thick. Arrange the slices on the baking sheets, laying them flat with a cut side down. Return the baking sheets to the oven and bake the biscotti for about 6 minutes. Turn the biscotti over, rotate the baking sheets and switch their positions, and bake until the biscotti are golden, another 8 to 10 minutes.
Let cool on the sheets on racks for 5 minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely (the biscotti will get crisp as they cool).
Store at room temperature or freeze in an airtight container, separating the cookie layers with waxed paper.