Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
After having bought some rather terrible biscotti from an otherwise good local bakery, my mother decided she didn't like this entire cookie category. It's possible that the sample she purchased was actually good, but she had made the mistake of buying the anise (licorice) flavor and foolishly never tried any other flavors, simply writing off all biscotti as hard, brittle, bitter, and dismal.
It was not until we tried some biscotti made by a family friend that we learned how good they could be. We realized that they could be a splendid combination of crunchy, satisfyingly textured, and richly flavored.
Indeed, biscotti can be so accommodating of different flavors that I decided to adopt a flavor profile that I had previously tried in France while making a mousse. The combination of chocolate-orange-coffee, thrown together in a fit of inventive fancy, produced a stunning mousse that was fresh, decadent, rich, stirring, sweet, and fruity—all at once. With some simple modifications, I was able to translate this flavor profile into the following biscotti recipe.
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The strongest flavor in these dessert cookies is the chocolate; the orange complements it and the coffee rounds it out. If one desires a different flavor mix it would be easy to adjust some of the proportions; for example, by adjusting the amount of instant coffee.
This recipe is entirely my own.
- 2 eggs
- 2 oranges, zest of
- 5 tablespoons instant coffee
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- In a large bowl, combine together the orange zest, instant coffee, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, and flour. Mix together with a blender on slow speed.
- Microwave the butter briefly until it is soft. Beat it into the dry ingredients and add in the vanilla and Grand Marnier liquid. It should form a rich, dark, slightly moist mixture. Add in the eggs, and beat more until it forms a rich chocolate dough. Fold in slivered almonds.
- Roll this out on a counter, and form into a long flat shape, 1 1/2 inches wide, slightly less tall, and however long as one has dough for. Then divide into three long logs of the same size, making sure each one is smooth and consistent. Place them onto a baking sheet and leave a space between each to enable them to expand.
- Bake in a preheated oven for some 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. Then remove, let cool for several minutes, and cut them in diagonal cuts into individual biscotti. Place on their sides, and bake 10 minutes longer, then turn over, and bake 10 minutes more. Once they have cooled, they will be ready to serve.
© 2019 Ryan Thomas