Biscotti is one of those things for which I wake up in the morning some days and just crave. The crunch, the crumble, the undeniably perfect pairing with your morning tea, afternoon coffee or any time in between, the chunks of fruit that let you trick yourself into thinking this isn’t actually a cookie but could, just possibly count for a fruit serving for the day.
My love for biscotti only grew when I started reading recipes and discovered that they are virtually full proof. You can add pretty much anything to them, make sure you have at least one eye open when measuring your baker’s staples and then just cook until they look good to eat. These little gems were my first attempt at what I’m sure will be a long and delicious relationship.
1 1/4 cups dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
zest from one blood orange
juice from one blood orange
2-3 teaspoon St Germain Elderberry Flower Liquer (or almond extract)
3 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups chopped dry roasted almonds
For the orange glaze:
1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of St Germain OR reserved blood orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl beat the butter until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add the eggs, vanilla, and liqueur extract until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour until completely combined. Add the apricots and almonds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Divide the dough into 2 equal halves, and shape each half into a long, narrow loaf. Longer and narrower for mini biscotti, or more rectangular for long biscotti. Place the loaves on the prepared baking sheet and just using your fingers flatten each to about 2 and 1/2 inches wide.
Bake the loaves for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the loaves cool completely.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Once cool, transfer the loaves to a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut the loaves diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Place the slices face down on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, then flip the slices over and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes. The goal here is to dry out the biscotti and almost toast the inside faces slowly so they don’t burn but when they cool they get crunchy instead of cakey. This takes some time and also a close eye if your oven is anywhere as temperamental as mine is. When you’re satisfied with the toastyness of your biscotti remove them from the oven and let them cool completely.
I read several recipes before and during my own cooking, a lead player was this Cherry-Rum recipe from The Curvy Carrot which was a great base to start from. When venturing out into recipe land I have never before discovered I try to find a very basic but beautifully executed recipe and mix.bake.stir has a lovely Almond Biscotti recipe that I referenced as well. I didn’t actually even make it to the glaze. I was too busy dunking and crunching. The drizzle would have definitely improved the photos, but I was perfectly happy convincing myself they were just that little bit healthier.