In celebration on the 30 seconds of rain the Bay Area had last week, here’s a cozy Fall bake. # 229: Dark Chocolate Orange Biscotti
Coffee’s best friend, the crunchiest cookie on the block, the one, the only: biscotti are finally making an appearance!
I didn’t mean to ignore this popular Roman cookie. Maybe it’s because I’m not a coffee drinker, but I think it has more to do with my preference for chewy cookies and the cookies I new and loved throughout my childhood. I’m pretty sure my mom’s motto is why have a biscotti when you could have a piece of shortbread?
The only memories I have of biscotti being made are when my aunt Elaine would come to visit. I vaguely remember chocolate chips being involved – I’m sure they were delicious!
Biscotti is yet another treat that we recognize the plural name as the only name colloquially. That means we should always eat two at a time, right? The official singular form of the name is “biscotto,” which breaks down into the Latin words for twice “bis” cooked “cotto.” Much crunch.
It’s said that Pliny the Elder, ancient Roman philosopher, called out the dry crunchy cookies as perfect for long naval voyages since they seemed to last forever. Essentially, it’s hard for cookies to go stale when they are a dry crumbly consistency from the get go. Very wise.
I picked this recipe as part of my quest to use up a large bag of whole wheat flour lounging in my pantry. It’s got so many rich flavors that you can’t taste the nuttiness of the whole wheat. Plus, there’s no rising to worry about like with my not-so-successful wheat sandwich loaves, so it’s truly the easiest flour swap ever!
It uses orange juice to help hydrate the wheat flour and add extra flavor oomph. (The recipe mentioned lemon juice at one point, but it’s an outlier so I think it’s a typo.)
A lush middle ground between batter and dough.
I went rogue on the candied orange peel and cooked them down in the sugar syrup for way longer than the recipe called for. They just weren’t sweet at all after such a short time in their sugar bath!
Into the oven they go, my strange lil dough logs.
Ta-da! Happily, they didn’t melt into a single pancake on the baking sheet. After the first bake, you take them out and cut them into slices before popping them back in the oven for the final drying. I ate the ends of the logs at this stage and they were delicious, all warm with melty chocolate. I came thiiiiis close to just keeping them all at this initial baked stage, but I gave in and followed the recipe.
Flip them halfway through the second bake so they get evenly toasty on both sides. Don’t forget to grab a mug of coffee (or tea if you’re strange like me.) The biscotti deserves it.