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Triple-Orange Pecan Biscotti

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Yields about 60 biscotti.

  • by Susan Betz from Fine Cooking
    Issue 61

These twice-baked Italian cookies smell divine and are delicious eaten by themselves or dunked into hot tea or coffee. 

  • 12 oz. (2-2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. table salt
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges (to yield a scant 1/4 cup lightly packed)
  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbs. orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

Position oven racks in the middle and top of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, and salt to combine. Put a bit of the flour mixture in a small bowl, add the orange zest, and rub the zest into the flour to keep it from clumping. Stir the coated zest and the pecans into the rest of the flour mixture.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the olive oil, orange juice, and liqueur until well blended. Pour into the center of the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is blended. The dough will be very sticky.

Dump the dough onto a heavily floured work surface and divide into six equal portions. Roll each portion into a log that’s 12 inches long, dusting with flour along the way to keep the dough from sticking. Set the logs about 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and then press gently to flatten each log so that it’s 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide.

Bake until the logs are golden and the tops are fairly firm near the center, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets and switching their positions after 10 minutes to ensure even baking. Set the sheets on racks until the logs are cool enough to handle, 20 to 30 minutes. Leave the oven set to 350°F.

Transfer the logs to a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, saw them on a sharp diagonal into slices 1/2 inch thick. Arrange the slices on the baking sheets, laying them flat with a cut side down. Return the baking sheets to the oven and bake the biscotti for about 6 minutes. Turn the biscotti over, rotate the baking sheets and switch their positions, and bake until the biscotti are golden, another 8 to 10 minutes.

Let cool on the sheets on racks for 5 minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely (the biscotti will get crisp as they cool).

Store at room temperature or freeze in an airtight container, separating the cookie layers with waxed paper.

Photo: Scott Phillips

I just made these and they are excellent. They are very sticky but I just made sure I had plenty of flour while I shaped them onto the pan. I also made an orange glaze with a little ginger in it to drizzle on them. This recipe is a keeper. Yummy

I agree, the dough is very, very sticky, but the flavor is wonderful. I followed the directions exactly except I divided the dough in half instead of in six and cooked them for 20 minutes. They made approx. 30+ large or full-size biscottis. I also baked them the second time for only 3 minutes per side as I like a softer biscotti.

I was looking for a recipe to replace the orange-pecan Mandelbrot (German-Jewish biscotti) my husband grew up eating. His grandmother's recipe contains 12 oz. of oil!! This is much lower fat and turned out well, if not quite as crispy as I would like. I had just one orange in the larder, enough juice but not enough rind, so I added 1t. dried ground orange rind. Also subbed brandy, added 1/2 t. each orange extract and vanilla, and folded in 1/3 c. finely chopped candied orange peel. It has a lovely, deep orange taste. I didn't mind the sticky dough - common to several of my biscotti recipes - just greased my hands and waded in. However, this stuff spread like crazy! - logs (1 just made 3) ended up 3-4 times as wide as they started, touching on the sides. This made nice, long slices, and they crumbled/broke less than most, so they look great, but be aware that you need LOTS of room between logs.

I was looking for a recipe to replace the orange-pecan Mandelbrot (German-Jewish biscotti) my husband grew up eating. His grandmother's recipe contains 12 oz. of oil!! This is much lower fat and turned out well, if not quite as crispy as I would like. I had just one orange in the larder, enough juice but not enough rind, so I added 1t. dried ground orange rind. Also subbed brandy, added 1/2 t. each orange extract and vanilla, and folded in 1/3 c. finely chopped candied orange peel. It has a lovely, deep orange taste. I didn't mind the sticky dough - common to several of my biscotti recipes - just greased my hands and waded in. However, this stuff spread like crazy! - logs (1 just made 3) ended up 3-4 times as wide as they started, touching on the sides. This made nice, long slices, and they crumbled/broke less than most, so they look great, but be aware that you need LOTS of room between logs.

These are addictive. You'd never realize they have olive oil in them. I used a cup or slightly more of flour on my pastry cloth. It's really not hard to work the dough--it's just very soft. Will definitely make again and again.

The flavor is worth 5 stars, but the dough is so hard to work with that I am only giving 4 stars. The statement, "the dough will be sticky," is a major understatement. I think I would add another 1/2 cup of flour to the dough next time. Also, I will try to make 4 larger rolls/logs instead of the 6 in the recipe as I found that I yielded over 80 biscotti but some were very small. Additionally watch the time in the oven to crisp up. I found mine baked a little more than I would have liked. Take them out when golden, not too dark or they will taste burned and be too dry.

This biscotti is wonderful. It's crunchy but not jaw breaking. I found the sticky dough a little challenging but the results were well worth the effort. I'm sure I'll get better with a little practice. I too used only orange juice but will try next time with Grand Marnier.

This is a fantastic recipe. I have people constantly wanting this recipe and saying it is the best biscotti they have ever tasted , including my mother inlaws italian partner that loves to cook. He says, This is the way biscotti should be made.

This is the best biscotti I have ever tasted and have made it many, many times using only orange juice (no alcohol). I dip one end of them in white chocolate. Bake a couple of batches at a time and keep one in the freezer to have on hand for family and friends. They make a wonderful gift.

Made many times, usually around holidays. People love these, especially if they are used to the awful, hard biscotti you get from commercial stores. Very addictive.

These are more delicate than many biscotti because of the olive oil, which also adds a layer of scent and flavor. I substituted plain cognac for the Grand Marnier, since I don't keep Grand Marnier on hand. The orange flavor was still distinct.

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