Georgia Pecan Orange Biscotti

¾ cups Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup softened unsalted butter
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 teaspoon orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Place the pecans in a 9-inch pie pan and toast in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the pecans are deep brown and glossy. Watch carefully so the pecans don’t burn. Chop the pecans finely and set aside.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, egg and orange zest. Fold in the dry ingredients and nuts; mix until thoroughly blended.
5. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
6. Form the dough into a 3-inch-by-12-inch strip. Mound the dough up slightly in the center of the strip so that the sliced biscotti will be slightly thicker in the middle.
7. Bake on the middle rack in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden.
8. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookie loaf cool for 10 minutes.
9. Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF.
10. Either on the pan or on a cutting board slice the loaf of dough diagonally into scant ¾-inch-thick slices. You should have 12 to 16 slices. Turn the slices so that a cut side is down. Spread the slices evenly on the pan.
11. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking for 20 minutes, turning the cookies over halfway through baking. Turn off the oven and let the cookies cool for 1 to 2 hours in the oven with the heat off. They should be quite crisp. Store in an airtight container.

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