Walnut, Orange & Black Pepper Biscotti

Adapted from an article by Carol Field in Gourmet Magazine Dec. 1992...She called them Evan Kleiman's Spicy Biscotti.

2 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached for hard, bleached for more tender)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda (1/8 tsp. less if you want paler color, more if darker)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, fairly fine (go easy at first)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar (changed to 3/4 cup sugar)
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. packed orange, lemon or tangerine zest or combination
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup walnuts, toasted, cooled and chopped fine
1/2 cup pine nuts (or use more walnuts)

If these directions seem wordy, it's because I changed the directions from Carol Field's to my own - it is for students and I try to eliminate causes for failure.

Preheat oven to 350F. If using convection: 325 and cook at least five minutes less.

To begin, toast and chop the walnuts, have ready the zests, grind the pepper and bring butter and eggs to room temp.

Line two trays with parchment paper or silicone liners. Have ready a large floured surface, a dough scraper and extra parchment paper.

In a medium bowl sift the flours, baking powder, soda, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well, and add the zest and vanilla.

Stir in the dry mixture into the butter mixture, then add the nuts. Do not over mix but also don't leave streaks of flour either. You will have quite a goopy mess.

Tip the dough out onto your work surface. Divide the dough into pieces. Two pieces for large trad. size biscotti, four pieces for smaller, thinner ones.

With floured hands and/or your dough scraper, form into logs about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, quickly place onto trays about 3" apart, brush off excess flour, and put into the middle of preheated oven. (I say quickly because if you bumble about picking the logs up they will fall back onto the board. If this happens, don't worry, just form into logs and try again.)

If you don't want to cook all of the logs, wrap them up in parchment, then saran wrap and freeze.

Cook for about 20 min. (small) or 25 min. (large logs) until they are just turning golden.

Remove from oven, let cool on baking rack for 10 minutes or so -- longer doesn't hurt.

Now put the biscotti logs on a big cutting board, cut them on the diagonal about 3/4" wide, replace on same trays cut side down and place in oven (still 350F.) for 7-8 minutes or until as hard as you want. I like them like granite so it takes them longer.

Let cool on racks and then store in airtight containers.

Yield: about 32 Biscotti if using large logs.

Source of recipe: Aussiechef