First of all I have to introduce these biscotti as the best biscotti I have had to date, gluten free or not. They are light and crunchy and melt in your mouth! I have never made biscotti before, and the story behind why I made these is quite comical.
Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of Gilmore Girls, and since it was recently released on Netflix, My friend Anda and I have been talking about having a marathon night. She insisted a Gilmore Girls evening required biscotti and tea (since it was too late for coffee). While I have never made it before, I figured this was the perfect excuse.
I have never been a huge fan of biscotti because I always found it too dry and hard. These biscotti have more of that crunchy but melt-in-your-mouth texture. I wanted to make a flavor that went well with both tea or coffee, so these have toasted almond, with a hint of orange, and dried cherries.
They are surprisingly easy to make, but there are a few tricks to get that amazing crunchy, yet melt-in-your-mouth texture. The first trick is to use a mixer with a paddle attachment and really cream the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes until it is very pale and fluffy (yes, actually 5 minutes.) Then when you add the eggs to this mixture, beat for another 5 minutes until the eggs are very pale and frothy. This will give it the extra light texture, so that even when they are baked twice and dried out, they will still melt in your mouth. As always, when you add the dry ingredients to the dough, DO NOT OVER MIX. This goes for anything you make (except for yeasted bread), because it will lead to a tougher, chewier texture, which is bad for biscotti.
Almond, Orange, Cherry Biscotti
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 30 minutes then 20 minutes
Baking Temperature: 350 degrees F, then 325 F
Level Of Difficulty: Medium
Servings: 14 large pieces, or 28 small pieces
4 oz./1 stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
3/4 C (6.25oz) Organic Cane Sugar
2 Large Whole Eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp Orange Zest (about 1 Large Orange)
1/2 tsp Pure Almond Extract
2 C (10 oz) GFK's All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 C (4.75oz) Toasted Almond Meal/Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 C (2.85oz) Chopped Toasted Almonds
1/4 C (1oz) Chopped Dried Cherries
1/4 C White Chocolate Chips, Melted
In a small bowl, add the all purpose flour, almond meal (I used Bob's Red Mill, then toasted it in the oven), baking powder, kosher salt, chopped toasted almonds, and chopped dried cherries. Mix and set aside.
In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter with the sugar on medium-high for 5 minutes (set a timer). Scrape down the bowl.
Add the room temperature eggs and beat again on medium-high for another 5 minutes until the mixture is frothy and pale in color.
Add the zest from 1 large orange and a 1/2 teaspoon of pure, high quality almond extract into the butter mixture, and mix again.
Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix on the lowest speed, just to incorporate.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and line your sheet pan with parchment paper.
If you like big pieces of biscotti, pat out the dough into 1 big log, but if you want small pieces of biscotti, make two separate logs, either way they should be 1 inch thick on the parchment paper.
Bake for 30 minutes, and then let cool 15 minutes before cutting.
Lower your oven temperature to 325 degrees.
With a very sharp knife, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (making sure that they are all of even thickness.)
Return to the sheet pan, cut side down, and bake another 10 minutes on each side, being carful when turning them, as they are delicate.
Let cool on a wire rack.
Drizzle with melted white chocolate (optional).
For these lovely treats, you can substitute the butter for butter substitute, such as earth balance, or coconut oil. The Sugar can be substituted for coconut sugar, but I do not recommend a liquid sweetener, as it will yield a completely different texture. The eggs are also a key ingredient in the texture of these, so I do not recommend egg substitute for this recipe.
These can be stored in a jar or tight container for about 1 week. They are best served with any tea, or coffee with fruity or floral tasting notes. Trust me, your friends and family will beg you to make these again and again!