How to make Clementine Scented Almond Biscotti | Easy Orange Almond Biscotti Recipe
The nip in the air has taken over the water too. They seem to be flowing from the refrigerators above and I can barely rinse after brushing, the mint flavor in the toothpaste adding to the effect of its chillness making my mouth go nearly numb. I stepped out this morning to put my sandals on; within minutes though, I rushed back in and led myself into the closet that stores many long forgotten things. Under the hiding of my ill-fitting jeans and handful of old salwar kameez, I pulled off my good ol’ maroon winter scarf (which had its ornate prints faded out in its seclusion, I yet love it), wrapped it around my neck, crossed my hands to chest and walked my way to work. The homeless dogs had gone into hiding, probably looking for warmer shelters under the extended roofing of kirana stores. There they sat warming up against the heap of ugly gunny rugs, rolling over lazily, snugging deeper into them. Above, the leaves wavered, their sway hushed, like the pendulum of a wall clock in a slow motion. The strollers on sidewalks had many like me who tucked their arms firmly across their chest, others burrowing their fingers deep into the slots of their jeans, their shoulders stooped; while women held to their scarfs covering the faces with their eyes stealing glimpse to the world passing by, as they rode pillion on the bikes.
Behind the pads of clouds I see sun poking out. By 8 am or so, the sun is out in its full glory. It’s the kind of weather I love. Cool, bright and sunny; the gentle warmth from sun seeping tenderly into my skin. It promises me that the day will turn good. There are no resolutions this year. Only optimism. An eagerness to see what future holds for us. No matter what, hope is mightier than all. Hope for positivity and accomplishment of many unspoken promises. That brings me to craving a good cup of masala chai and these Clementine Scented Almond Biscottis I baked in the mid of last year while in US when the weather turned this way. When the skies brightened and the cold air made us snug, we dunked biscottis and drank tea. Decembers and January of Bangalore ought to be like this. The season of winters. The season when oranges appear in plenty. The season to warm up. The season to eat almonds. The season to bake. The season for a reason to bake.
So I craved these biscottis and baked them again. The original recipe calls for clementine oranges. It said mandarins or other fruit zest will work too. I tried these again replacing clementines for Indian oranges and they were zesty and flavorsome. Although these photographs come from the time I baked them with clementines, let your imagination drift away to try other flavors. During that vacation, I spent many evenings flipping pages of cookbooks I had borrowed from the nearby State library. The flipping, the photographs, the intros and side notes for the recipe had often inspired me to get on my toes and rush to bake. This recipe comes from one among them. I wish though I had noted down where it came from. I promise, the moment I figure out, I shall credit it duly. For now, I hope this biscotti brightens up your day irrespective of the weather in your country.
CLEMENTINE-SCENTED ALMOND BISCOTTI
1/2 cup / 70g caster sugar
1 large egg
Grated zest of 1 clementine / mandarin / Indian orange
2 cups / 150 g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
50g raw, whole almonds, skin on
Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place the eggs, sugar and zest in a large bowl, and beat it in a food processor or with an electric beaters until its pale and creamy. Fold in the flour, baking powder and almonds. It should be quite a wet and sticky dough at this point. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently to bring it together. Shape the dough into a long log.
Place the dough log on the baking tray and bake for around 20 minutes. The dough should be fully cooked through before removing the logs from the oven. Allow to cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes.
Using a sharp serrated knife, slice into 0.5 cm thin slices. Place the slices on the baking tray and bake on each side, till the edges begin to brown. It took approximately 10 minutes on each side. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack. They will continue to crisp up as they cool down. Once completely cool, enjoy them dunk in milk, tea or coffee of your choice. Else, store these biscuits in an air tight container.
- You can replace the clementines for mandarins too. Clementines and mandarins belong to family of oranges. Indian oranges will be a great substitution.
- You can try replacing oranges to lemon zest for a lemony flavor.
- You can replace the almonds for nuts of your choice. I haven't tried dry fruits yet, but I am sure they would be wonderful too.