Biscotti are one of my favorite cookies. They’re sweet, crunchy, nutty and I feel surprisingly un-guilty when I eat them. A classic Italian treat, there are thousands, scratch that, millions of biscotti recipes out there. As a professional pastry chef I’ve tried my fair share of them. This one came from a lot of testing and tasting (poor me) and for me it’s just right. It has the right amount of almond flavor, bakes up super crunchy, but still has an incredibly dense crumb. These are great with coffee or tea, as a holiday cookie, and I’ve even been known to munch on them as a midnight snack. Plus, you probably have most of the ingredients I your pantry already! The ingredients in the recipe, as in all my recipes, are in metric units, meaning they need to be weighed out. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, go get one immediately. It is a completely indispensable piece of kitchen equipment. If you don’t have one and you’d like to make this delicious cookies without it, it’s easy enough to convert the recipe. There are tons of conversion websites out there, and most of them do all the work for you. This is just one you could use. Ok, let’s get biscotti-ing!
Cranberry Orange Biscotti (Yield: ~ 2 dozen)
2 oz. butter (room temperature)
4 1/4 oz. sugar
2 each eggs (room temperature)
8 oz. a.p. flour
1/4 oz. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. almond extract
zest of 1 orange
1/4 oz. dark rum
3/8 cup dried cranberries
~1 cup white chocolate melting wafers (I use Ghirardelli)
1. If your eggs are coming straight out of the fridge, place them in a bowl of warm water to bring them to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Place the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until fluffy and lighter in color. *Note: the best thing you can do for this recipe or any other baking recipe is to use good quality butter. I use unsalted Kerrygold and it makes all the difference!
3. Add the sugar to the butter and continue to beat until completely combined and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.
4. Add eggs one at a time. Scrape.
5. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix just until combined.
6. Add in vanilla extract, almond extract and orange zest. Add rum. Mix.
7. Add dried cranberries and mix just to disperse throughout dough.
11. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack.
13. Slice biscotti into 1/4 inch wide pieces, cutting width-wise. Arrange on sheet tray lined with parchment (you can use the same one you used for the first bake) and place in oven.
14. At this point you are just drying out the biscotti. You shouldn’t be adding any color to them. This will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Just keep testing and flipping. They will become much harder once they’re cooled as well.
15. The biscotti are officially twice baked and ready to enjoy, but for an extra dose of sweetness I like to dip one end in white chocolate once they’re cool. If you are going to keep them around for a couple of days to have with coffee or give them as a gift, and you don’t know how to temper chocolate, I would suggest melting one or two teaspoons of shortening with the white chocolate. Shortening is solid at room temperature and will help the chocolate coating stiffen up and grasping hands won’t get as messy!
I hope you guys give this recipe a try. It really is so good! Feel free to ask me any questions you may have, and if you don’t like one of the ingredients, substitute some you do like in its place! That’s how great recipes are made folks!
Twice baked and happy – Cassie