I adore candied citrus peel. You won’t offend me if you’re not a fan (yet). You probably only know those chewy, tooth sticking, flavorless, processed nuggets that come in a grocery store tub. That’s what I thought candied peel was all about, too – until I made my own. Then, ooohhhh, I fell in love. Hand-crafted candied peel is pliant and juicy with the perfect balance between bitter peel and sweet syrup. Making your own takes a bit more work than opening a tub, but it’s the difference between a frozen beef patty and aged ribeye steak. I always make more peel than what’s needed for a recipe. That way, I can toss the remaining peel in sugar for a sweet snack.
Our search for Clarity occasionally demands us to set aside to-do lists in favor of prayer books. It inters us within a temple of quiet solitude, away from the dazzle of worldliness, insisting on reflection. Our weaving of elaborate plans is replaced by solemn contemplation. When I ache with this azan in my ear, I bow at my kitchen’s altar for answers often found within the merging of butter, sugar and flour.
Flavored with candied orange and anise, these cookies are a nod to the French sweet bread, gibassier
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
– 2 teaspoons orange flower water
– 3 eggs
– 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– ½ cup almond flour
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– 1/3 cup candied orange peel, finely chopped
– 1 teaspoon anise seeds, toasted and slightly crushed
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray.
In a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add extract and beat well.
Add flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt and mix until blended. Add candied orange peel and anise and mix until just combined.
Shape dough into two rolls the length of the sheet pan. Flatten each to 3” wide. Bake 20-25 minutes until set and barely beginning to brown. Cool 10 minutes. Cut rolls ½” thick across into 18 biscotti each. 5. Arrange biscotti on their sides on sheet pan and bake 8-10 minutes. Turn cookies over and bake an additional 5 minutes. Bake cookies until dry and crispy, but not brown. I enjoy these treats dipped in a cappuccino or glass of milk.
I’ve decided to try to recreate the gelato flavor I had in Bologna – Dark Chocolate with candied orange peel (Cioccolato all’Arancio sounds so much sexier). Challenge #1: Outside of Culinary School, my attempts at making candied citrus result in a product that is both leathery and inedible. So, I’m trying this recipe from Clotilde at Chocolate and Zucchini – which is supposed to produce sticky, chewy half-moons of orange peel with soft and juicy pulp. As the recipe requires heating up and completely cooling down the sugar mixture 4-5 times, I’m on day two, will most likely need one if not two more rounds of heating/cooling and an overnight drying. I haven’t even started on the chocolate mix yet. This better be damn good gelato.