I meant for there to be a savory break in between sweet cinnamon posts. I wanted to tell you about a great potato gratin I made for an Easter dinner. I had even started writing the post as I smelled the Yukon Golds, shallots, rosemary, cream, and sharp cheddar baking in the oven. But then, in the rush to get the family – and the gratin – out the door, I forgot to take a picture of it. I can’t in good conscience give you a recipe without a photo and so, onward we go to Orange Cinnamon Biscotti. (But if you really want the recipe, you can find it here. It was great.)
Next Saturday I am catering a sit down dinner for a vegetarian’s birthday party. Her thoughtful husband wanted her to have a special dinner and knew that he would not be able to find one in Seattle’s dining scene. He hired me to come up with something great for her. In our conversations about her likes and dislikes, it came up that she is not a big dessert eater, but that she loves cheese. He mentioned that a cheese plate would probably be a great dessert for her.
Now, in spite of the name of this blog, I am not a huge dessert person. I am much more of a savory person. (Proof: I have all kinds of baking chocolate, candy that my mom brings over for the boys, cookies that I have made, and various other goodies all over kitchen and pantry. I am not tempted by those things. Seriously. I can easily forget they are there. However, popcorn, chips, crackers, or – say – a potato gratin…these are things I cannot be trusted around.) But when I do eat dessert, I eat dessert. Chocolate is always my first choice and the richer the better. A cheese plate would not do it for me.
But this is not my birthday, is it? So a cheese plate it will be. However, I cannot just leave it at that. I decided to make some of these biscotti to serve along with the cheese and a pear saffron compote. These delicate cookies are what came to mind because they are not rich and they are not all that sweet. They have a wonderful tight crumb, quite a bit of spice, and just a hint of orange. I think they will pair perfectly with the cheese plate.
By the way, for those of you who want the recipe for the Butterscotch Spiral Coffee Cake, I went ahead and wrote it out.
Orange Cinnamon Biscotti
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes about 2 dozen
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinammon
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beat well after each. Beat in orange peel and vanilla. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and cinammon and beat until just combined.
Scrape half of dough on to each lined baking sheet. Using floured hands, form each half into 3-inch wide by 3/4-inch high logs. Bake until logs are firm to the touch, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
Transfer logs to work surface. Using serrated knife, cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange cut side down on baking sheets. (DT: I find that the longer slices can bread apart during this step – just be careful.) Bake until bottoms are golden, about 12 minutes. Turn biscotti over; bake until bottoms are golden, about 12 minutes longer. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store in an airtight container.)