Josephine’s Candied Orange and Dark Chocolate Biscotti

        Orange and chocolate is a combination I love. The chewiness of the candied orange, the richness and creaminess of the dark chocolate and the chunkiness of the biscotti make this cookie unique. To save time, you can substitute store bought candied orange. I wouldn’t but that’s how I am.

Candied Orange
2 Large Oranges or 3 Small Oranges
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Water

1) Rinse the oranges, then cut strips of the outermost orange peel off the oranges with a sharp paring knife. Trim off white. Cut the peel into ¼ inch strips.

2) Blanch the peel in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes, then drain. Repeat 3 times. Use multiple pots simultaneously to save time.

3) Bring sugar and water to boil, add the peel to the sugar syrup on medium heat. Cook till peel becomes translucent and the syrup thickens. about 15 minutes. When the syrup bubbles up vigorously and the peel is translucent, it is ready.

4) Pick up the strips and separate them on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and let them cool.

Note: If you want extra candied orange for snacks, double the amount of orange and roll the strips with sugar after they cool. Store them in an air-tight container.

Biscotti (Make about 30 2” pieces)
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup (4oz) Dark Chocolate Chuncks
4 Tablespoons (half stick) Butter
¾ Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
¼ Cup Grand Marnier
Candied Orange

1) Move oven rack to the middle. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Sift flour, baking powder, and salt.

3) Chop your favorite dark chocolate to about ½ in by ½ in chunks using a heavy knife. For chocoholics, don’t hesitate to add more chocolate. You won’t regret using good quality chocolate here as the taste will show through.

4) Beat butter and sugar together in mixer using the paddle (or in a big bowl using a spatula or big spoon) until light and smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Add Grand Marnier and mix again.

5) Add the flour mixture, fold in gently till just combined. Fold the candied orange and chocolate chunck into the batter.

6) Halve dough and using floured hands, gently stretch each portion of dough into a rough 13-by-2-inch log. If you like long biscotti, shape the width of the log to the desired length of the biscotti. Put the logs on a silpat or a cookie sheet covered with parchment. The logs should at least 2 inches apart.

7) Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the logs are golden and just beginning to crack on top.

8) Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Lower the oven to 325 degrees.

9) Cut the logs to about ¾ inch thick using a sharp heavy knife.

10) Return biscotti to the cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

11) Put them in your favorite cookie jar after they cool. They can be kept for a week in an air-tight container in a cool area.

Note: Biscotti are low in fat. You can cut out the butter completely if you add 2 extra eggs and ½ cup extra flour. The no-butter biscotti will have comparable texture without the richness of the butter taste but still tastes great.

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