These orange-scented, honey spiced Italian Biscotti Cookies enclose a filling of almonds and chocolate. This once baked biscotti-like cookie will quickly become one of your favorite Italian cookie recipes.
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Position rack in the center.
To make the biscotti cookie dough
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together all the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, whisk together the room temperature eggs, orange juice, almond extract, and the zest of one organic orange.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients. To this whisk in the warm honey. Switch to a wooden spoon and incorporate the wet and dry ingredients. Finally, use your hands to knead the dough for a few minutes directly in the large bowl.
Cover and set aside as we prepare the almond filling.
To make the almond filling
Place the dark chocolate in a large heatproof bowl, set over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
When the chocolate is almost completely melted, remove from heat and stir to finish melting. Note: If using a microwave, heat in 30 seconds intervals, stirring after each time increment.
To this add the rest of the ingredients. More specifically, unsweetened cocoa powder, warm honey, anisette liqueur, vanilla extract and toasted almonds.
Stir to combine and set aside.
Since we will be making 2 loaves, separate the cookie dough in half. If you have a scale, that would be about 900 grams.
Place half of the cookie dough on a sheet of parchment paper. Cover the dough with another sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough to approximately 14 inches by 7 inches.
This is a very soft dough and you can gently push the dough in order to get a rectangle shape.
Place half of the almond filling down the center of the dough about 1 inch from the side.
Lift up the parchment paper and fold it over the top of the filling. Carefully peel back the parchment paper. Do the same for the other half.
Bring up the ends to seal in the filling. The dough can easily be manipulated so make sure to properly enclose all the filling. Apply gentle pressure to pat down the seal and smooth out the surface.
Once again, use the parchment paper to turn the biscotti loaf over so that the seam is now on the underside. Slide the parchment paper and the log to a large cookie sheet.
Repeat this procedure for the rest of the dough and filling.
Brush the egg wash (see note) on the surface of both biscotti logs.
Bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven until the tops are golden brown and firm to the touch.
Allow cooling on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before transferring to a rack to completely cool down.
Once the loaves have completely cooled down, place them on a wooden board. With a very sharp knife, hold the tip with the palm of one hand, and with the other hand on the handle, make one sharp downward cut at ½ interval.
For maximum flavor, use high-quality honey.
Roasting the almonds will yield a cookie with more flavor.
Once combined, allow the cookie dough to rest for about 15 minutes.
Make sure the filling is properly enclosed in the dough otherwise there is a risk that the filling will leak out.
Spread the loaves at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet as they expand a little as they bake.
The recipe yields 112 cookies sliced at ¼ inch. Keep in mind that cutting them thicker or thinner will affect the final yield.
To make the egg wash: In a small bowl, simply whisk together 1 room temperature egg with 1 tablespoon of water.How to slice: It is easier to slice these loaves the day after they are made as the moisture from the almond filling softens the texture of the dough.Once the loaves have completely cooled down, wrap them in cellophane wrap and store at room temperature. The next day, place them on a wooden board. With a very sharp knife, hold the tip with the palm of one hand, and with the other hand on the handle, make one sharp downward cut. Feel free to slice them at an angle for the classic biscotti look or simply straight up. Either way, they will taste great!How to store: Well wrapped, these loaves can be kept at room temperature for about one week. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months without affecting the quality of the cookie.Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.