Citrus Olive Oil Biscotti with White Chocolate Chunks are the perfect after dinner pick me up; orange, lemon and anise evoke the flavors of islands in the Mediterranean. Keep reading for other great cookies with white chocolate! I was provided a copy of Ciao Biscotti by the publishers in exchange for an honest review, Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing in this post.
I promised you guys a review of Domenica Marchetti‘s Ciao Biscotti: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Celebrating Italy’s Favorite Cookie, and here it is! Just in time for Creative Cookie Exchange–extra bonus. It made the decision to bake biscotti for this month simple. It has sweet, savory, traditional and creative flavors. I have half the recipes bookmarked. My biggest regret? That I did not take pictures of the first biscotti I made from the book, the Stracciatella Biscotti that I made for Miami University Women’s Center’s Global Food Read-In. Or, more accurately, I did not take proper pictures. I did grab a shot of the fun Alex and I had drizzling chocolate on the cookies to text to my family:
The Stracciatella recipe I made almost exactly as written. I reversed the almond extract and the vanilla extract amounts just because I am not the world’s biggest fan of almond extract. The biscotti baked up like a dream and were loved by everyone at the read-in.
The next recipe I chose I fiddled with, and while the results were delicious, I confess I am not used to cookie recipes where a couple tablespoons of an extract or liquor can throw it off so much. So my problems were my fault, but if you buy the book (and I hope you do–if you like biscotti it has tons of fantastic ideas!) just know that this is one recipe that needs to be made as written. Or make it as I wrote it below, which turned out to be considerably adapted, because when I used Ouzo in place of aniseed, that extra two tablespoons of liquid made the dough into darn near a cake batter! And according to Domenica–whom I asked about why my dough was so very sticky and wet–she said sliced almonds will help firm up a dough (I had replaced them with white chocolate chunks). Who knew? I just always considered nuts–of any shape–to be just another mix in, like dried fruit or chocolate chips. So to make a long story (somewhat) short, I used Ouzo and white chocolate chunks in place of aniseed and sliced almonds, and that then necessitated other changes.
I don’t regret it though. These cookies are fantastic. The Ouzo worked perfectly with the citrus, and the white chocolate complements the orange and lemon beautifully. I would be curious to see what adding lime would do, but I was trying to stay true to the Mediterranean spirit of the cookies.
Speaking of the primary way I did not stay true to the Mediterranean spirit, white chocolate is this month’s theme for Creative Cookie Exchange. I really encourage you to check out the awesome cookies we have down below. So many people assume that because they dislike eating plain white chocolate that they hate white chocolate. To me it is like saying because you do not want to eat a bowl of buttercream frosting, or plain sugar, or other extremely sweet ingredients, that there is no value in baking (or cooking when appropriate) with them. Nothing could be further from the truth! These cookies do not taste like white chocolate; rather they taste like Citrus Olive Oil Biscotti with tiny bursts of creamy sweetness in the middle. As always, I highly encourage you to use real white chocolate–not those dreadful vanilla baking chips. If cocoa butter is not an ingredient in the white chocolate, move on and try a new one. Despite what I just said about the cookies not tasting like white chocolate, true white chocolate adds a subtle rich depth to the cookies that vanilla flavored shortening could never mimic.
- 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups (286-318 g) AP flour
- 2 T polenta or coarse cornmeal
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/8 t fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup (150 g) light brown sugar
- zest of one orange, finely grated with microplane
- zest of one lemon, finely grated with microplane
- 6 T extra virgin olive oil
- a few drops lemon oil (1/16 t or less)
- 2 T Ouzo
- 3 large eggs, 1 separated
- 3/4 cups real white chocolate chunks, chopped into as small of chunks as you can without creating tiny shards (slightly warm chocolate helps with this), 4 oz
- Place the first 5 ingredients into a mixer bowl (begin with the smaller amount of flour) and mix on the lowest speed for 10-20 seconds to blend. Add the orange and lemon zest and mix again briefly.
- With the motor running on low, drizzle the olive oil, lemon oil and Ouzo into into the bowl.
- Lightly beat 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk.
- Add the eggs to the mixture and beat on medium speed until well combined. If the dough still seems more like a very thick batter, sprinkle in the remaining flour and mix briefly on medium speed to incorporate. Then mix in the white chocolate. Press plastic wrap tightly against the dough and place in the fridge to chill (this will help to firm the dough) for at least 25 minutes (I did an hour).
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. Get your hands a little damp. Divide the dough in half--because the dough was still sticky for me, I quickly worked with my hands only, shaping the dough into a cohesive, fat log. Then place that log length-wise on one side of the cookie sheet and use your hands to pat and stretch the dough into a log 2 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long.
- Repeat with the remaining dough on the other side (still length-wise) of the cookie sheet.
- Brush the remaining egg white over the tops of the logs (you will have some egg white leftover--just discard). Bake for 25 minutes, or until the logs are browned, set and slightly springy to the touch. You should expect to see cracks in the top.
- Let the logs cool completely. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 300 F.
- Remove the logs carefully to a cutting board. Using a serrated bread knife, carefully slice the biscotti width-wise, 3/4 inch thick slices. If possible (do not fret if not, but you may need 2 cookie sheets to accommodate the slices if not) place the biscotti upright onto the cookie sheet. This way you do not need to turn them over halfway through.
- Bake for 30 minutes (if you needed to lay the biscotti flat, turn them over halfway through).
- Let biscotti cool completely before serving or storing.
The theme this month is White Chocolate! White chocolate is seriously underrated as a baking ingredient–it complements so many other flavors so nicely, like citrus, spices, berries, winter squash, etc. So if you want to see all the ways white chocolate can be used to make terrific cookies, you have come to the right place! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.
You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
- Cashew and White Chocolate Chips Cookies from SimplyVeggies
- Citrus Olive Oil Biscotti with White Chocolate Chunks from The Spiced Life
- Cookies and Cream Blondies from Sidewalk Shoes
- Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies from Magnolia Days
- Japanese Yuzu Citrus Biscotti from NinjaBaker
- Key Lime White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Liquid Cocaine (Espresso-White Chocolate) Cookies from Food Lust People Love
- Matcha and White Chocolate Cookies from Spiceroots
- Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chips and Toffee Bits from A Bakerís House
- Vanilla, Currant, and White Chocolate Cookies from Karenís Kitchen Stories
- White Chocolate Lemon and Oats Cookies from Bakingyummies
- White Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake Cookies from Made With Love
- White Chocolate Snickerdoodles from Our Good Life
- White Chocolate Pumpkin Bars from Upstate Ramblings