I got inspiration from a northern Switzerland chocolate confection called Basler Brunsli. Basler Brunsli are often described as Swiss brownies. Personally, I think this is a stretch. Brownies are bars, consisting primarily of an inordinate amount of chocolate and made rich with ridiculous amounts of butter and eggs. Basler Brunsli are gluten free, contain no added fat and only have egg whites. What does someone like me do after she has read about a new confection? Well, make something that has nothing to do with it of course! Wha did I make you maybe wondering? Biscotti! Wasn't the fact I made biscotti I forgone conclusion? I mean German confection to brownie to biscotti. Wasn't it obvious?
This time of year is freezing and cold in the East. I try to drum any excuse to turn on my oven. This time of year, all manner of flavor combinations dance around in my head too. "Warm," "holiday" flavor combinations, involving spices and chocolate. Some of those flavor combinations work beautifully together; for example, chocolate and coffee or chocolate and almonds and coffee and orange and cinnamon. Additionally, when I think of "the holidays," I think of Christmas cookies. I don't know why, but I always think of "crispy" cookies when I think of Christmas cookies. Thinking about Christmas cookies led me to think about biscotti. Thinking about biscotti, led me to start thinking about coffee...
Do You see where this is going? Good!
I believe biscotti should be full in flavor and crispy yet tender. Biscotti should hold up when dunked in espresso or Vin Santo (if you are into dunking your food that is - which I am not - YUCK), not fall apart into the espresso or wine when dunked. As with any cookie, texture is key.
As I've written before, writing a recipe is not easy. Writing a recipe requires discipline. Ask anyone that knows me, I do not excel at discipline... I find it rather confining... That said, I challenged myself to create an Almond-y, Mocha-y and Orange-Spice-y - flavored Biscotti that would be Holiday (or any day) worthy. I hope you add these little yummies to your cookie repertoire and pour yourself a cup of espresso, Vin Santo (or even a glass of orange liqueur) to dunk these in! Happy Holidays from Mary's Kitchen to yours. Visit my Recipes page for the recipe. Enjoy!
Avid home cook and passionate instructor