When I lived in Portland, Oregon, I often shopped at Pastaworks for specialty groceries – homemade pasta; artisanal cheese, bread, charcuterie, and olive oil; domestic and imported wine; and biscotti. Although the extensive selection of pasta, cheese, and wine encouraged me to return to Pastaworks several times a week, the one item that always ended up in my basket was biscotti. Several years later, I discovered a delicious recipe for cornmeal biscotti in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers. This recipe creates biscotti strikingly similar to the ones I purchased at Pastaworks. I made the cornmeal biscotti with orange-flavored liqueur and orange zest instead of anise-flavored liqueur and anise seed.
Almond and Orange Biscotti
(adapted from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers)
Makes 18-24 Biscotti
- ¾ cup almonds
- 4 tablespoons cold salted butter
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cold large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons orange-flavored liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons fine cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons orange zest
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Place the almonds on a small baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes until light brown and fragrant. Finely chop ¼ cup of the roasted almonds with a knife or food processor and coarsely chop the remaining almonds. Set aside.
While the almonds cool, cut the butter into ½ inch cubes. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds until combined but not creamed. Add the egg and orange-flavored liqueur and mix for additional 30 seconds.
Combine the almonds, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low speed for an additional 2-3 minutes until the dough comes together.
Remove the dough from the mixer and divide in half. Roll each half of the dough into 8 inch logs on a lightly floured counter or pastry board. Place the logs on a parchment lined baking sheet with a few inches of space in between them. Press down gently on the dough to create logs approximately 2 inches wide and 8 inches long. Bake the logs until light brown and firm about 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half way through the cooking time.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Transfer the baked logs to a cutting board and slice on an angle ¾ inch thick. Return the sliced biscotti to the baking sheet cut side down and bake for 5 minutes until light brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the biscotti over. Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes to brown the other side. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.