I had high hopes of sharing so many wonderful holiday recipes since I have nothing but time on my hands this year. Then I got hit with covid fatigue and my world stopped a bit and I decided to enjoy this time at home. I have been baking so many cookies the past couple of weeks and thought it was time to share one of my favorite recipes for orange cherry biscotti. This is always a go-to cookie recipe for holiday cookie boxes, and I tend to make them more often than not. Biscotti cookies are fantastic especially for those packages that need to be mailed, and everyone always loves them.
The recipe was inspired by a Dorie Greenspan recipe for Lenox Almond Biscotti. Over the years it has changed from having nuts to not having nuts. To the addition of dried fruit along with spices and nuts, and then a version with only dried fruit. Every year I come back to our favorite flavor which has no nuts and only dried oranges and cherries.
With ingredients being challenging this year I swayed even further by using imported dried silician oranges along with dried French cherries. In the past, I have used orange zest along with dried tart cherries. Really you can customize it using what you can make. This recipe is the perfect last-minute gift recipe. Everyone loves getting a small bag filled with biscotti to enjoy with their coffee or tea during the holiday rush.
Recipe: Orange Cherry Biscotti
** makes about 24 biscotti
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal – I use a medium grain
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of diced candied orange peel
1/4 cup diced tart cherries
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cornmeal together.
Beat the butter until soft, about 1 minute.
Add the sugar to the butter and mix together at medium speed for 1 minute.
Add the eggs one at a time, and continue to mix, scraping down the bowl as needed, for another 2 minutes, or until the mixture is light, smooth, and creamy. Mix in the vanilla extract.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. You’ll have a soft, stick-to-your-fingers dough that will ball up around the paddle or beaters. Scrape down the paddle and bowl, toss in the dried fruits and mix just until combined; less than a minute.
Scrape half of the dough onto one side of the baking sheet. Using your fingers and a rubber spatula or scraper, work the dough into a log about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. The log will be more rectangular than domed, and bumpy, rough, and uneven. Form a second log with the remaining dough on the other side of the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the logs are lightly golden but still soft and springy to the touch. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and cool the logs for 30 minutes.
Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the logs to a cutting board and, with a long serrated knife, trim the ends and cut the logs into 3/4-inch-thick slices.
Return the slices to the baking sheet, setting them again on the same sides as before, and slide the baking sheet back into the oven.
Bake the biscotti at 350F for another 20 – 25 minutes, or until they are golden and firm. Transfer them to racks and cool to room temperature.
Eat. Or wrap as a gift.