I briefly mentioned that my oven broke this summer. We got a new one. It's fantastic. I love it. It works like a charm! Would you believe that I spent close to three days figuring out what it's maiden baking voyage would be!?! I will now share with you the recipe that popped my oven's cherry. Hazelnut biscotti!
As a child, I never really understood the appeal of biscotti. Through kid goggles, they were an icky grownup "treat." I'd watch my dad dip a ridiculous amount of biscotti in a short class of Vin Santo and wanted to gag. I always thought dipping a cookie into something that wasn't milk was weird, but now as a grown up I totally get it. These biscotti don't need to be dipped in ANYTHING. They have TONS of flavor on their own. A nice cappuccino or some milky tea would be a good companion---but that's it. Notes of orange, spicy anise undertones & crunchy toasted hazelnuts will assault you with each bite. They're delightful!
So yeah- I'm a grown up and I love biscotti. I'm always surprised at how easy they are to make. Some people think that because they are baked twice, it means more work in the kitchen. It's really not that bad!! I find cutting up the baked "logs" to be quite therapeutic (WEIRDO alert). It's really nice to see a huge batch of cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet that have no risk of melting & sticking to each other. To me, that is worth any "extra" effort. Another upside- they last in an air tight container for a few weeks. They taste soo good that you might not have any around that long enough to find out...
Put your apron on!
Here's what you are gonna need!
You will need to roast your hazelnuts real quick to get the skins off. Go do that.
You cream the butter in a bowl with a hand mixer. Then you add sugar. Cream that!
Scrape down the sides & add in the eggs.
Introducing anise seeds & orange zest!! Flavor central. Party in a bowl!
Dry ingredients will merge with wet!
Chop up your hazelnuts!
Toss them into your dough. Mix it up real quick.
Here's your dough! On a floured surface! Shaped into a circle. Cut it in half.
Form them into logs on your baking sheet. Now bake!
Once the logs have cooled, slice up your biscotti!
Place them back on the cookie sheet & bake again!
Yer done! Now treat yourself to one or two..or three. You deserve it.
Orange Hazelnut Biscotti
(recipe from Tartine Bakery Cookbook)
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. anise seeds
- 4 tsp Cointreau (or other orange flavored liqueur)
- 2 tsp. orange zest
- 2 cups, plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast lightly until just fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, place in a kitchen towel for a few minutes. Rub off the skins while the nuts are still warm. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and set aside. Reduce heat of the oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy with a hand mixer. Slowly add the sugar and beat until light and color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs and beat until mixture is smooth. Beat in the anise seeds, liqueur and orange zest. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined. Stir in chopped nuts.
On a lightly floured surface, dived the dough into two equal parts. Shape each portion into a log about the length of your prepared baking sheet and about 2 inches in diameter. Set the logs on a baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
Bake the logs until they are set to the touch and lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes. Let the rolls cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board and cut on the diagonal into slices about 2 1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Return the slices cut side down to the baking sheet. Bake the cookies until the edges are lightly toasted 5 to 7 minutes longer. Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack. They will keep in a tightly covered container at room temperature for several weeks.
***This recipe called for an optional egg wash before the first bake. I opted out. I thought it wasn't necessary, and it worked out fine! ***