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Apricot & Tangerine Zest Biscotti: Hostess Gift

Are you looking for a perfect hostess gift? Apricot & Tangerine Zest Biscotti are not only easy to make, but make a perfect hostess gift that can be snacked on immediately or saved for a day after the party. Plus, you can make them a day or two ahead.

A few weeks ago I signed up to take Domenica Marchetti's workshop about food preservation on the beautiful Star Bright Farm. This Saturday, I drove to the farm with Domenica the day before the workshop and stayed in the guest house Helen and Mark, the owners of the farm, graciously made available for us. I wanted to bring something as a token of appreciation and decided to make one of Domenica's recipes from Ciao Biscotti (and also bring a bottle of wine). My parents taught me to never ever show up empty-handed.

I adapted Domenica's Orange and Pistachio recipe, but used dried apricots instead of pistachios, tangerine zest instead of orange, and almond extract instead of orange extract. 

This recipe used a new-to-me technique of whipping the egg whites separately, then adding sugar, and only then adding the egg yolks. 

Instead of packing the biscotti in a tin or a bag, I put them in one of my favorite oxo products: POP container!

These were a hit ;)

Apricot & Tangerine Zest Biscotti
Adapted from Ciao Biscotti and reprinted with the permission from the author

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large egggs, separated
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
zest of 3 tangerines
3/4 cups vanilla sugar
1 cup diced dried apricots

Directions (I rewrote them in my own words. Domenica's directions are more thorough!)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Oil a large baking sheet.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl using a whisk.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with honey, olive oil, almond extract and tangerine zest.
5. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, whisk egg whites until foamy. Slowly whisk in the sugar, until the mixture becomes thick, glossy, and sticky.
6. Incorporate the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture, and then add the flour mixture and the dried apricots. Using a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula, mix till all the ingredients are combined.
7. Separate the dough into two parts and form two logs on the baking sheet approximately 2 1/2 inches wide by 12 inches long.
8. Bake the logs for 20 minutes, then gently slide onto a cooling rack using a an offset spatula (I actually used two large fish spatulas) and cool for 20 minutes.
9. Lower oven temperature to 300F.
10. Slice the logs into 1/2 inch pieces and bake for about 8 minutes on each side.
11. Cool biscotti completely before storing in an airtight container.

You can use whichever extract you like and mix in other types of dried fruit or nuts or use a combination of all of the above!

PS No pumpkins were harmed in the makings of the biscotti ;)