‘Orange Pepper’ Biscotti!
This year I got to participate in The Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap organized by Lindsay and Julie. It was so much fun from deciding what to bake and how to ship to what we will be receiving from other bloggers. It was really an exciting process.
When I registered myself to this fun challenge, I put down myself in a vegan category (you know, first of all we do not eat eggs and secondly, vegan is a healthy choice). Then in few weeks I received my complementary cute little OXO cookie spatula. And then I received my matches that I had to send cookies too. I was pretty nervous at first for a complete vegan baking challenge. Although I make these crunchy vegan biscottis but still, first time some other Vegan bloggers were going to be the judge of it. I sent out cookies to Heather Blackmon, Rachel Jacobs and Jackie Burgart. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed cookies sent to me that were Chestnut Sweet Red Bean Ginger cookies from @BeyondNFinity, Dark chocolate cranberry ginger cookies from @thesmartkitchen and Pumpkin cookies from Ashok of BitesandBytes. Thanks a lot all, we loved all the different varieties.
I was sure from the beginning that I will be baking biscottis because it’s sturdy to ship, it’s pretty looking and it’s a big long cookie. Who doesn’t love it? The recipe is really versatile. Here I have added pistachios n cranberries for festive touch but you can literally add any nuts/chocolates or flavorings.
And you know what, once you bake these beauties, you will never spend a penny in starbucks again for the same :)
Orange Pepper Biscotti
Yields: About a dozen Starbucks sized biscottis or 20 Medium sized
- 1 stick or ½ cup Margarine at room temperature
- ¾ cup Sugar
- 1 Flax egg
- Finely grated Orange Zest (of one Big thick-skinned orange)
- 2 cups AP flour + ½ extra if needed
- 1 ½ tsp Baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt and Freshly crushed Black pepper to taste
- ½ cup chopped Pistachios
- ½ cup dried Cranberries
- ½ tsp Orange essence or Vanilla essence
- Juice of one orange
- Vanilla candy chocolate to drizzle (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Line a baking tray with a parchment paper.
- Rub in Orange zest with sugar and keep it aside.
- In a small bowl, make a flax egg. Mix 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed with 2 Tbsp of warm water and keep it aside. This will give us gooey eggy textured flax egg.
- In a large mixing bowl cream the margarine, Orange zested sugar in your mixer until light and fluffy for about 2 minutes. Add in flax egg, orange essence and mix well. Slowly add flour along with baking powder, salt and black pepper. Mix until everything is incorporated well. You will need orange juice if the dough is still dry. Use juice as required. Dump in chopped pistachios and cranberries. Mix again. Now with the help of your hands divide dough in two parts and shape each into a log. Tap it a bit about 2” wide and make two flat logs on to parchment lined baking sheet leaving about 3 inches distance between.
- Bake the logs for about 35 to 40 minutes. Bake until golden brown. Do not worry if the top seems a bit soft. We are going to double bake it. Remove from oven and let it cool completely for about 10 minutes.
- Now using your sharp bread knife, slice them about ½ inch thick the way you want. Diagonally or horizontally. Now arrange them back into baking sheet cut side facing down. And bake them again for another 15 minutes flipping them on other side in between.
- Remove from oven and let the biscottis cool down completely before eating. Store in air-tight container or a zip lock bag.
- If you decide to decorate your biscottis with chocolate drizzle then this is what you need to do. Microwave vanilla chocolate in a microwave safe zip bag on 60% power for about a minute. After a minute check and see if it needs more heating. Then microwave again for 30 seconds on 60% power. Once done make sure there is no lump left. Let it sit on counter for a minute and then cut a very tiny piece of bag from one side with scissor and paint over your cookies. It’s super fun!