Thursday, January 27, 2011

dark chocolate dipped orange + cashew biscotti

ever think you have enough time to accomplish a new recipe aka a recipe you have never tried and have no clue how much time it is going to take to complete, in a short amount of time? you carefully calculate every move you are going to make only to come up about 20 minutes short on time...

i have, i did and i failed- well failed in the sense that i did not get to surprise my hostess with an adorable package filled with the best biscotti in the world and was only able to offer up a picture of the said biscotti when i arrived. i had the best intentions, no really i did, now only if i had that extra 20 minutes - story of my life.

i have only a few photos to share- the biscotti were much prettier in person, however as i mentioned i was a bit short on time. as you can see above ,the third to the left we had a slight casualty (though a tasty casualty at that ) due to not allowing enough time to cool prior to handling- so please cool the biscotti prior to bathing in chocolate, it makes the dipping much easier once cooled. i attempted to speed up the hardening phase of the dipped biscotti by popping them into the freezer, they just wouldn't set quick enough- and for the record checking them every 3 minutes does not make them harden any quicker.

this recipe is very versatile swap out cashews for any type of nut you have on hand - pistachios would give these biscotti great color. for brighter flavor sub in fresh orange juice for store bought and add in a little zest.

dark chocolate dipped orange + cashew biscotti

inspired by My Sweet Vegan
Makes 12 to 15 biscotti cookies - i got 12

XIAOLU'S NOTE: To bring out the citrus flavor even more, I used a technique that if I recall correctly came to me from a Dorie Greenspan recipe. I rubbed all the zest into the sugar until everything smelled wonderfully of orange. I added this where the original recipe says to add sugar and skipped the step to add zest later.

1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flax seeds [I used 1 1/2 tablespoons pre-ground flax seeds]
2 tablespoons water
Juice (about 1/2 cup) and [finely grated] zest of 1 orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped Cashews
6 ounces dark chocolate

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees Celsius) and line a baking sheet with a silpat [silicone liner] or parchment paper.

Cream the margarine in your mixer until light and fluffy in texture. Add in the sugar, beating until fully incorporated. Whip the flax seeds and water them together to form a paste. Add the flax seed mixture to your mixer, stirring well. Toss in the zest from your orange and mix again. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing lightly until relatively combined. Continuing with the mixer on a slow speed, dump in the 1/4 cup cashews, add orange juice into the mixer until it just comes together.

Shape the resulting dough into a long, skinny rectangle about 1 inch tall by 2 inches wide by however long that ends up, and place it onto your prepared baking sheet. Slide the baking sheet into the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. The top of the biscotti loaf should be lightly browned, but don't panic if it seems a little bit soft and bread-like on the inside. Cool the biscotti for at least 5 minutes, and slice horizontally into cookies that are about 1/2 inch thick. Lay the slices down flat on one of their cut sides on the baking sheet, and return the biscotti to the oven for another 10 minutes. Allow the biscotti to cool completely (very important).

Place the chocolate in a relatively shallow, microwave-safe dish that can accommodate the full length of your biscotti. In the microwave, melt your chocolate in 30-second intervals until it is completely smooth, stirring well after each interval. Dip one cookie into the chocolate ( I used a spoon to coat the biscotti), sprinkle cashews over the chocolate and place it back on a silpat or parchment paper. Repeat this process with each cookie. Allow the biscotti to dry completely before moving them again. You can pop into the fridge or freezer to speed up the drying time


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