This is a sponsored post. All thoughts are my own.
The holidays give me just one more excuse to bake. Not that I really need an excuse, I have a baking blog after all. But with so many holiday gatherings coming up, I’m glad I have a reason to share more of my favorite sweet treats. This past weekend I made these delicious Chocolate Dipped Orange Walnut Biscotti for my family. If you have never tried making your own homemade biscotti, you are missing out on a delicious cookie that you can eat any time of the day! Store-bought biscotti can’t beat the homemade variety and these biscotti featuring California Walnuts were definitely a hit with my family.
Did you know that walnuts are the only nut that provide a significant amount of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (2.5 grams per serving) and just an ounce of walnuts also provides a convenient source of protein (4 grams) and fiber (2 grams)? Walnuts are also the oldest known tree food, dating back to 10,000 B.C. Walnuts have been cultivated for over a millennia. They are an easy way to add some protein to your baked goods and dishes.
You can maintain the fresh taste of California walnuts by keeping them cold. If you’ll be storing them for a month or longer, store them in your freezer.
Store them in an air-tight container and keep them away from foods with strong odors.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed at the thought of making your own homemade biscotti, never fear. They are actually quite easy and forgiving. They are hard to over bake and they stay fresh longer than most cookies so they are a great option for gift giving at the holidays.
I have tried dipping my biscotti but I find it is much easier and less messy to simply spread chocolate on one side. This actually uses less chocolate than dipping them even a 1/4 of the way down and you don’t have to worry about any biscotti crumbs getting in your chocolate.
I also like to have a little chocolate on every bite, don’t you?
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (finely grated)
- 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
- 1 teaspoon oil or shortening
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two cookie sheets or line with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat.
- Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
- Combine flour and butter mixture. Stir in ¾ cup of the walnuts and orange zest.
- Divide dough into two equal parts and place one on each cookie sheet.
- Shape dough into logs approximately 10 to 12 inches long. (Dough will be sticky.)
- Flatten out to about ½ inch thickness.
- Bake for about 30 minutes in preheated oven, or until edges are golden and the center is firm. Remove from oven to cool on the pans. When loaves are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to slice the loaves vertically into ½ inch thick slices.
- Return the slices to the baking sheet.
- Bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, turning over once halfway through.
- Cool completely.
- Melt chocolate chips and oil. Spread chocolate over one side of biscotti.
- Sprinkle remaining chopped walnuts over the top. Allow to dry at room temperature.
- Store in an airtight container.
Besides holiday gift giving, these orange walnut biscotti would be a great option to offer guests or as a host gift for Thanksgiving dinner. They make for a elegant presentation with the added chocolate and walnuts. I plan to bring these to our own Thanksgiving dinner at my parents. I know my Dad especially will love to enjoy one with a hot cup of coffee.
While walnuts are great for baking and sweet recipes, the mild flavor and soft texture of walnuts make them a delicious ingredient for savory dishes as well. So don’t forget about them in your holiday dishes. I personally love toasted walnut sweet potatoes!
Do you have a favorite holiday recipe featuring walnuts?