Almond Biscotti with Orange Zest and Fennel

I’m told that biscotti means to bake twice. That is how these delicious cookies get their satisfying crunch. This is another great one to give as a gift. They will last for weeks.

Ingredients
1 cup whole almonds
3 cups flour, plus flour for work surface
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
zest from one orange
2 teaspoons almond extract

Method

  • Bake almonds 10 minutes at 350° F, let cool, roughly chop and set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, fennel, orange zest and almond extract.
  • Mix to incorporate the ingredients; the dough will be a little sticky.
  • Flour your hands and a clean kitchen surface and lightly knead the dough. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into two large logs. The loaves should be relatively flat, only about half an inch high and three to four inches wide.
  • Bake for 20 to 22 minutes at 350º F, until the center is firm to the touch.
  • Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then, using a serrated knife, cut into 1 inch wide pieces.
  • Turn the oven down to 300º F and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely.
  • Let sit uncovered overnight in a dry space.

Makes about 36 small biscotti.

Sweet Pea Ice Cream with Orange Zest


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Excerpt from my column in the Register Star and Daily Mail:
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This is for the adventurous ice cream eater. The flavor is a combination between orange sherbet and green tea ice cream. It makes a nice bright ending to a summer meal. You will need an ice cream maker for this recipe.

Ingredients
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups hot milk (whole or skim)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
1 cups heavy cream (or half and half)
1 cup shelled sweet peas
Zest from one medium orange

Method
– Place snap peas in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove peas and plunge into ice water, drain and puree peas in a blender with cream.
– In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and salt until blended (no heat).
-Gradually whisk in hot milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens slightly about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat.
-Stir in pea-cream mixture and vanilla extract. Refrigerator until chilled.
-Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Use a spoon to push the mixture through. All that should be left are bits of peas.
-Add orange zest.
– Place in ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
– If you prefer a firm ice cream, transfer ice cream to a plastic container and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. We can never wait that long.