This was my first attempt at biscotti, so I of course turned to my Baking Illustrated cookbook. Turns out I really like big chunks of almonds/hazelnuts/etc. in my biscotti, so these guys weren't my favorite. Interesting to be sure, but the flavor is very subtle. I think that they would have been much more interesting with a more assertive honey, like a spicy clover honey. The run-of-the-mill honey I used just faded into the background. I have to say, however, that the aroma that filled my apartment while these were baking was out of this world -- creamy, buttery tones with heady citrus and lavender notes floating overhead. Words don't suffice.
I used the lessons I learned in making these for the chocolate almond biscotti below, specifically the tricks with the wax paper and keeping my hands good and floured. The "cylinders" I was able to form with this dough were hideous. Still, a good learning experience, and like I said, the aroma. Wow.
- 2 1/4 c (11 1/4 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 c (4 2/3 oz) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp minced zest from 1 orange
- 1 Tbsp dried lavender blossoms
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl, set aside.
- Whisk the sugar and eggs in a large bowl to a light lemon color; stir in the honey, vanilla, orange zest, and lavender. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the egg mixture, then fold in until just combined.
- Divide the dough in half and place one portion on a work surface covered with floured wax paper or parchment paper. With floured hands, pat it into a cylinder about 2 inches in diameter and 12 to 15 inches long. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Cut the parchment paper and, using the paper as a sling, roll the dough into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Place in the oven and bake about 35 minutes, rotating halfway through, until firm to the touch. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool for 5 minutes, then cut on an angle into slices one-half-inch thick. Return the slices to the baking sheet, laying them on their cut sides, and return them to the oven. Bake another 15 minutes, turning over each cookie halfway through, until they are crisp and golden brown on each side. Allow to cool completely before storing or serving.