Many of us have traditions that we embrace every holiday season. For me, it’s a day of biscotti baking with my friend Jill. We’ve been doing it for as many years as I can remember, and it’s an event we always look forward to. I put on the most classic holiday music, dig out the aprons, and the culinary extravaganza begins.
Biscotti are relatively low in sugar and fat, making them the ideal choice when you want something sweet but don’t want to pile on the calories. They also make a great gift—just layer them in a pretty, airtight jar and get ready for the compliments!
Almond Orange Biscotti
vegetable shortening and flour, for baking sheet
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
coarsely grated zest of one orange
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease and flour a baking sheet. Shake off excess.
In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Make a well in center of mixture.
To the well, add the remaining ingredients (excluding topping). With your hands, work dry mixture with liquids until a dough has been formed. (Mixture will be very sticky.) Divide the dough in half.
On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into two flat-bottomed cylinders, 1” high, 2-1/2” wide, and 8” long. Remove each to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly colored on top. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
Holding a long sharp knife by the handle and tip, cut cylinders diagonally into 3/4” slices. Carefully place slices back on baking sheet, cut sides down. Return them to the oven for 8-10 minutes more and bake until sides are golden and biscotti have dried a bit. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.
YIELD: 20-24 biscotti