Monday, December 22, 2008

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

I'm making gifts of baking for the first time this year, and biscotti seemed like a perfect thing to fill a part of my tins! It's much easier to make than I'd realized, and it keeps for a long time. I'd never been that much of a fan of the crunchy cookie until I started dipping it into some delicious hot drink, like you're meant to, and then I loved it.

I modified a recipe from Tartine which modified a recipe from Chez Panisse. :)

I decided to add white chocolate to half of them, which I have to admit, didn't turn out as pretty as I would have liked. I just used a zip lock bag with the tip cut out, and half of my chocolate got a bit over-microwaved and thick to come out easily, and the tip I cut out too big, I think... But enough excuses, here it is- you can do a prettier job of it, hopefully!

Cranberry Almond Biscotti
makes about 25 pieces, some long, some short

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 tsp Dissarono, or another almond flavored liqueur
2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 additional egg for egg wash (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast for 3 minutes. Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Cream the butter until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and beat until light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is smooth. Beat in the Disaronno. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just combined. Stir in the chopped nuts, then the cranberries.

On a floured work surface, divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a log about the length of your prepared baking sheet and about 2 inches in diameter. Set the logs on the baking sheet (be careful, this can be tricky), spacing them about 2 inches apart. If you want to glaze the biscotti, whisk the egg and brush it over the logs.

Bake the logs until they are lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes. Let the logs cool on a rack for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board and cut on the diagonal into slices. Return the slices cut side down to the baking sheet. Bake the cookies until the edges are slightly toasted, about 5-10 minutes longer. Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack. If you like, dip them in or swirl on some chocolate. They will keep in a tightly covered container at room temperature for several weeks.

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