Recipe: Biscotti with Candied Orange and Pine Nuts
I devised these biscotti using the flavors of the Easter Pastiera I love so much but just didn’t have time to make this year. I worked orange flower water, vanilla, and candied orange into these simple biscotti. They’ll give the house the aroma of Easter without the work required for making a real Easter dinner, which, because my mom is sick this year, I’m not finding possible. Friends and family can stop by, have a biscotti and a glass of prosecco, and all will be as well as it can be.
Happy Easter, and grab as much free will as you can.
Biscotti with Candied Orange and Pine Nuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar, plus a bit extra
A pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces, plus extra for buttering the pan
½ cup candied orange peel, well chopped
1 large egg
The grated zest from 1 large orange
1 teaspoon high-quality vanilla extract
½ teaspoon orange flower water
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
½ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a standard-size sheet pan.
Place the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse briefly to blend. Add the chopped butter, and pulse a few times, just until the butter is broken down into very tiny bits. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, orange zest, and orange peel, orange liqueur, and pine nuts. Add this to the food processor, and pulse very briefly, just to blend. The mixture should be moist but crumbly. Turn it out onto a flat surface and press it together. Press the dough away from you using the palm of your hand once or twice, so everything is well moistened. Form the dough into a ball. Cut the dough in half, and roll each section into a 1-inch-thick rope. If the dough seems too sticky, dust your hands with flour while rolling it. Place the two ropes on the sheet pan a few inches apart. Flatten the tops slightly. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and bake until very lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Take the pan from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes to cool slightly (if the logs are too hot when you try to slice them, they can break).
When the two ropes are cool enough to remove from the sheet pan without breaking, place them on a flat surface, and cut them into approximately ¼-inch slices, cutting on an angle using a quick, clean stroke with a sharp chef’s knife (don’t try a sawing motion or you may cause the biscotti to break up). Place the cut biscotti, cut side up, back on the sheet pan, and bake for about 10 minutes longer, or until they are lightly browned. When cool, store in a cookie box, or a basket covered with a tea towel. They’ll keep about a week.