Filled with the warm flavors of cardamom spice and orange zest, these biscotti go perfectly with a hot cup of coffee or black tea.
Biscotti = relaxation. Most mornings I’m quickly brewing a cup of aeropress coffee directly into my thermos, grabbing a jar of overnight oats from the fridge, and running out the door. But a morning where biscotti is involved is a morning spent in pajamas and curled up on the couch.
While I grew up with many Norwegian traditions, including cardamom in baked goods was not one of them. But after a trip to Norway where breakfast consists of a carefully brewed cup of coffee and a cardamom bun, I got hooked on this aromatic spice.
As cardamom can have such a strong, almost spicy flavor, I wanted to lighten things up a bit by using orange zest in these biscotti. And let me tell you, the smell of orange zest being smashed into cane sugar is a heavenly one.
I’m a firm believer that biscotti shouldn’t be overly sweet, but if you want to make these even fancier, a white chocolate drizzle would go well with the cardamom and orange flavors – no judgement ;).
What are biscotti?
I grew up in a biscotti-loving household. Every morning I’d watch as my mom would grab a biscotti and dunk it into her coffee while I got ready for school or before heading out skiing. So the first time I saw someone just eat a biscotti on it’s own, as if it was any other cookie, I was horrified.
And now I’ve married one of those non-dippers. Every crunch without coffee being present feels like nails on a chalkboard.
Derived from the Latin biscoctus, which means twice baked or cooked, biscotti is a long-shaped, twice-baked crunchy Italian cookie with origins from 14th century Tuscany.
Originally twice-baked as a way to get rid of extra moisture and be more resistant to mold, they’re perfect for dipping in coffee as they won’t quickly disintegrate into the hot liquid. Instead, there should still be a little crunch leftover after a brief dunk.
Originally, biscotti were made from almonds, but as they became more popular throughout Italy, and then the rest of Europe, other nuts such as pistachios and hazelnuts became common. Today, you’ll find almost every flavor of biscotti imaginable: lemon, chocolate turtle, gingerbread, and even savory cheese and herb ones.
What You’ll Need
To make biscotti you’ll need the usual cookie ingredients plus the orange zest and cardamom for flavor:
How to Make Biscotti
I find making biscotti to be very easy and straightforward as long as you are okay with not all the cookies being exactly uniform in size. However, if the idea of uneven biscotti makes you stressed just thinking about it, then you’ll want to get out a scale and ruler before we get started (and avoid looking at the size of the dough in my process shots 😉 ).
Start by preheating your oven to 375o F and covering a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Next, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
Beat softened butter, sugar, and orange zest using a stand mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add in vanilla extract and eggs, one at time, beating on medium-low speed.
Slowly pour dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until just combined. Gently stir in slivered almonds.
Divide batter into 3 equal pieces. I just eyed it, but if you want to be precise, use a scale to weigh out three equal pieces. Form each piece into a log 11-inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide.
Place baking sheet in oven and bake 20-25 minutes, or until logs are a light golden brown. Note some readers have said that it took closer to 30 minutes for the biscotti to be fully cooked in the middle. Remove and let biscotti cool for 5-10 minutes.
Once cool enough to handle, gently slice biscotti at an angle into 1/2-inch thick pieces. I find a serrated bread knife works best for this.
Place biscotti cut-side down on baking sheet and bake another 4-5 minutes, flip, then cook a final 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides.
Remove from oven and allow to cool
Are you a biscotti lover? Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments below or by tagging @TheHealthyToast_RD on Instagram!
Adapted from these White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti
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Cardamom and orange sound like a perfect combo!! Love the comforting flavor of cardamom 🙂