Friday, February 20, 2015

Orange Hazelnut Biscotti Gift Package and Recipe

To mark the special day, Valentine's Day guests of the Amish Country Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast received a three-flavor variety biscotti gift package.  We enjoyed making five different flavors of biscotti, sometimes also called mandelbrot. Here is the recipe for one variety I made, Orange Hazelnut Biscotti.

Orange Hazelnut Biscotti

Orange Hazelnut Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
Orange Chocolate Bar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons orange zest
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts or walnuts

Chocolate for drizzling or dipping biscotti
1 (use 4 squares) Lindt Intense Orange Excellence Bar
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1.) Preheat oven to 350℉. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly with vegetable oil. 

2.) Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and the salt together into a bowl. 

3.) With an electric mixer; cream the butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (1-1 1/2 minutes), stopping the mixer twice during the process to scrape the bowl with a spatula.

4.) On medium speed add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is partially incorporated (5 seconds). Scrape the bowl after each addition.

5.) With the spatula, mix in half the flour mixture by hand, then with the electric mixer on low speed blend for several seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until smooth. Add the walnuts or hazelnuts. 

6.) Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide in half. With one of the portions form a strip about 3 inches wide and 11 inches long and place it on one of the baking sheets. With the other portion form another strip and place on the second baking sheet. 

7.) Bake the dough until lightly golden and firm to the touch (20-25 minutes). 

8.) Remove the baking sheets and lower the oven temperature to 275 ℉. Allow the strips to cool for about 10 minutes and then with a serrated knife, cut each strip into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange the the slices standing up a 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheets. Bake until crisp (20 minutes). Then turn the oven off and leave the cookies in for 15 more minutes. Do not overbake.  They will harden as they cool.

9.) Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets.
Biscotti and Chocolate

10.) Place Lindt chocolate and semi sweet chocolate chips in double boiler to melt. Be careful to not get any water into the chocolate.  I have a gas oven, which is ideal to use for melting chocolate.  The pilot keeps the oven just warm enough to melt the chocolate. If you use the warmth of a gas oven, do not turn the oven on; simply place your oven-safe bowl in for about 1/2 hour, and it will be perfect for melting.  If you chocolate is too thick, simply add a little vegetable oil to thin.

11.)  Dip the end of the biscotti into the chocolate, place on a wire rack, and garnish with sprinkles or chopped nuts if desired.  Allow chocolate to harden.

12.) Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in freezer for up to two weeks.

Another variety I made was Ghirardelli's Chocolate Nut Biscott.  Follow this link for the recipe.

Biscotti are easy to make but look hard.  Make them, and your friends will think you are brilliant.  Of course you are.  Go for it.

Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is located in Ohio's Amish Country in Holmes County. This is a region where charming villages hug winding roads, where farmers plow with teams of horses, and where shops are bimming with wares and hand-crafted goods reflective of the Amish culture.  Do make your way to Amish Country, stop by, and we will be happy to show you our inn.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
February 20, 2015

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