A big batch of biscotti, and a small dose of self-discovery

I’ve been making biscotti at home, double batches at a time because they disappear so quickly. Along with classic granola and wickedly delicious mini whole wheat pumpkin muffins, these are so far my favorite healthy breakfast or snack recipes from The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great by the wonderful Pam Anderson.

I’ve never been a biscotti fan. I’ve always heard folks talk about how much they love it, and frankly, I never understood why. I figured it was probably because I prefer chewy cookies and moist cakes, and biscotti is nothing like that. But for some reason, I found myself trying this recipe. Maybe it was because Pam wrote glowingly about it, or maybe it was because I read that each piece had all of 53 calories and contained no butter or oil.

The Ivory Hut: A Big Batch of Biscotti, and a Small Dose of Self-Discovery

Whatever the reason was, I’m glad I made them, because I discovered that I like biscotti after all. I’ve just been eating bad ones.

But that’s not the only discovery referred to in this post’s title. Apparently, I also have this subconscious need to line everything up neatly.

The Ivory Hut: A Big Batch of Biscotti, and a Small Dose of Self-Discovery

And apparently, I do the same when I put my groceries on the checkout counter. I also organize our condiment bottles and spices in the cupboard, with one shelf for Asian cuisine, one for Trinidadian cuisine, and another one for everything else. I line up our cutting boards first by material (wooden, glass, or plastic), then by height. I re-fold towels so that each one is the same size, facing the same way in the linen closet shelf. And I stack my CDs and DVDs in alphabetical order, by genre.

Allegedly, I also re-arrange our sugar packet holder so that all the packets are facing the same way. I’m a bit afraid to check to see if that’s true.

You know something? I’m not sure I want to know why.

The Ivory Hut: A Big Batch of Biscotti, and a Small Dose of Self-Discovery

You want to know something else? Really, I’d just rather discover more things like this new love for biscotti. At least I won’t need therapy for that.

The Ivory Hut: A Big Batch of Biscotti, and a Small Dose of Self-Discovery


Orange Nut Biscotti
Recipe from The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great by Pam Anderson

3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 whole orange (about 2 tablespoons)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (scant) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almonds, pecans, walnuts, toasted pistachios (or a combination of nuts)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla and orange zest. In a larger bowl, mix the remaining ingredients except the nuts. Stir the wet mixture into the dry, using a spoon first and then using your hands. The dough will be very sticky and tacky. Stir in the nuts.

Flouring your hands and working surface, roll half of the dough into a 12-inch log. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake in the center position of the oven for about 50 minutes, until golden brown. Take the logs off the sheet and onto a cooling rack, let cool for about 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees and line another baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Use a serrated knife to slice the logs into 1/2-inch thick slices. Return the slices to the baking sheets and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and almost crisp. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 4 dozen biscotti (or 2 dozen if sliced 1 inch thick, as seen in the photo).

The Ivory Hut: A Big Batch of Biscotti, and a Small Dose of Self-Discovery


29 thoughts on “A big batch of biscotti, and a small dose of self-discovery”

    1. I’d love to do that too! But because I’m allergic to both almonds and chocolate, and I LOVE almonds in biscotti, I figured I wouldn’t push it by adding both. The almonds won.

  1. This post is cracking me up! Will you come to my house and do some organizing for me? Pretty please?!? I love good biscotti! Though I’m with Weedwacker…I’d probably negate the low calorie count by dipping mine in chocolate… :)

    1. Haha! Not a problem! I once offered to put away a giant package of toilet paper rolls for my cousin. Without intending to, I ended up stacking them all lined up with the labels facing forward. I may have also re-organized the shelf so that paper products were in one section, bottled drinks in another section (color-coded), etc. And yet, I can’t seem to get caught up with housework. Ever. I’m a walking contradiction.

    2. i thought I was the only one that has to have everything in place. Before,we leave the house, I ask my husband if he straighten up in the living room. He runs in the living room (mocking me all the way),placing all the magazines and newspaper all facing the same direction. He thinks I am nuts…

  2. Your writing cracks me up. Love your posts.

    A baking question: do you let the logs cool completely before slicing them? In my other favorite biscotti recipe, if I don’t do that, the ends crumble. Yours look obsessively wonderful (c: Please advise.

    1. No, I only let it cool for the five minutes called for in the recipe before slicing them. If you’ll notice though, I did leave the ends a bit thicker, because I didn’t want to try to slice them too thinly and risk crumbling them.

  3. This looks awesome! I think I’ll give it a try this weekend.

    I also have this slight OCD twist to my organizing (or living…?). Apparently I line up my orange slices after I’ve picked them completely free of pith, and I used to organize my CDs exactly like you did until my husband made so much fun that I left off that habit. And now guess what? MOST OF THEM ARE LOST.

  4. This biscotti sounds wonderful. But..I am confused by a couple of things in the recipe. What is the mini muffin tin for? And…Does this recipe really make 4 dozen pieces of biscotti. In the photograph it looks like it makes about 25 biscotti. Thank you so much for posting this recipe; I look forward to making it. Love that it is made with citrus and is low calorie.

    1. The mini muffin tin is for goobs like me who use the recipe template from a previous post about mini whole wheat pumpkin muffins to format the next recipe and forget to delete the line that mentions the mini muffin tin. (Sorry.)
      The instructions call for 1/2-inch thick slices, and if sliced that size, it will yield about 4 dozen biscotti. I sliced them thicker, about 1 inch per slice, which is why you see less in the pan.
      Thank you for catching that!

  5. Erika,

    Your biscotti are much more beautiful than mine, but now that I know you, it makes perfect sense. I do find that if I ritually enjoy a couple of these (or a similar light sweet treat) daily, I’m less tempted to overindulge. Thank you for sharing this recipe with your readers.

  6. These are BEAUTIFUL! I’ve had them and love them. Also, I agree with Maria – gorgeous as a gift. And perfect with afternoon tea.

  7. I recently made raspberry chocolate chip biscotti. Delicious but not really healthy. This sounds (and looks) great, something to add to my ever expanding “to cook” list.

  8. I’ve long dreamed of learning how to make my own bread. In my mind, breakfast everyday consists of bread fresh from my oven… Your baking adventures are inspiring. For someone who’s never (successfully) baked bread before, which bread recipe would you recommend?

    1. Connie, if you want to build confidence first, I suggest trying a quick bread like beer bread, which is almost impossible to mess up. Mix 3 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl. Then pour in a 12 fl. oz. bottle of beer. Mix, then put in a greased pan. Pour 1/2 stick melted butter on top, then bake for about 1 hour at 375F.
      Then try the boule recipe that I posted some months ago. It’s amazingly easy.
      Hope that helps!

  9. I have a question about the orange: Do you only use only the zest, or does the inside of the orange get juiced and added with the eggs? … that is, included with the eggs and vanilla as “wet ingredients”? Perhaps if it is zest only, it should read “Zest of one whole orange; if not, specify what to do with the innards! (Can you tell that I’m an editor? But I’m a foodie, too, and REALLY want to make these!)

    1. Yes, you use only the zest. Thanks for pointing out that it was a bit confusing. That should teach me to mess with perfection. The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of orange zest, but instead of measuring, I just zested an orange. So I figured it might be simpler to just say that. But you are right—best to be specific and precise. Thanks!

  10. Amazing!! I changed a few things. I didn’t have orange or nuts so instead I used 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and a tbsp of cocoa. It came out perfect!!! Subtle flavours w little sweetness. I also took 15 min off the cook time bc it was cooked through after about 35 min. But I toasted it for 20 min after slicing. Srsly amazing thank you soooo much for this recipe!!

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