Honey Orange Hazelnut Biscotti

biscottiSerious deep cleaning happens in April, so biscotti seems a good reward. I imagine the urge to clean comes from my grandmother who deep cleaned every spring, probably like her grandmother before her. Cleaning Feels Good. I have not sold out as a progressive woman if I actually enjoy sorting through drawers and closets, dusting cobwebs from the ceiling, and cleaning the grime off doors and cabinets. Still, I do just a bit a day–the laundry room yesterday, the hall closet, guest bath and hallway today, the pantry tomorrow.

I’m giddy about the growing size of my give-away pile. On the bottom sits a Navy peacoat that I think belonged to a service man years ago. I picked it up at a Goodwill Store before Goodwill Stores were popular and haven’t worn it much since coming home from Illinios, where a wool coat is more appreciated. Imagine that–giving back to Goodwill a used coat I wore off and on nearly 20 years that still has lots of life in it. The fashion industry shutters, the economy gasps.

Anyway, Mark made Lemon Crinkle cookies for Easter so I decided to make Orange Hazelnut Biscotti as a follow-up. They will taste great as a break-from-cleaning snack.

Honey Orange Hazelnut Biscotti (not too sweet and delightfully refreshing) 

Preheat oven to 350.  During the pre-heating time, roast 1/3 c. chopped hazelnuts for about 10 minutes.

Sift and set aside the following:

2 1/4 c. flour (I use white wheat berries for these–which is a lighter flour than standard whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

In a large bowl whisk together 1/2 c. sugar and 3 eggs until lemony.  Add:

     1/3 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest from 1 orange (1-2 Tbsp)
1/3 c. chopped hazelnuts (roast them in the oven while you pre-heat it)

Mix dry ingredients into egg mix just until dough is blended.

If you have a Silpat, use it.  Put the Silpat on a baking sheet and dump half the dough on each end, forming two logs with your spatula. If you don’t have a Silpat, grease a cookie sheet and proceed as above. Expect the dough to be sticky.  Pat and shape each into a loaf about 3 inches wide, 7-8 long, using your spatula.dough

Bake 2o minutes or until dough pops up when lightly pressed. NOTE: You can not tell if biscotti logs are done by looking at them. They should not feel sticky and should resist a bit when you press them. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temp to 275. Meanwhile cut logs diagonally into 1/2-inch slices (a serrated knife works well). Turn slices onto their sides giving 1/2 inch between slices to allow them to cook evenly (using two cookie sheets gives you ample room).

Bake 15 minutes. Biscotti continues to crisp up as they cool, so don’t over bake.

Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Drizzle with melted chocolate chips (optional but highly recommended). They will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container or freeze if you actually want them to last a few weeks.  I live in a house where cookies disappear the day they are made unless they are stored in the freezer! Makes about 24.

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