If you have only tried store bought biscotti, baking your own will totally change your opinion of what is usually a dry cookie with little flavor. But before I share a recipe for one of my favorite versions as my Day 7 gift from Pudbudder to my readers, a little background.
Biscotti is the plural of biscotto,
which can be roughly translated from Italian as “twice” (bix) + “cooked” (cotto). I never cared for them much until I tried my hand at baking them fresh. WOW! They are incredible, require few ingredients, are very easy to make, and keep extremely well. They are low in fat (with most recipes using NO fat), but most of the sweet ones do have some sugar in them, but are still healthier than many Christmas goodies. This is one of the many varieties I have tried. Some others include Cashew Orange Crunch, Taste of the Tropics (with coconut, nuts and pineapple soaked in rum!) and Chocolate Cherry. Try joining the Italians who have been dunking these special twice-baked cookies in their coffee and wine since the fourteenth century and ENJOY!!
Cranberry Orange Biscotti
2 tablespoons vodka
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest or ¼ tsp. orange extract
1 cup shelled natural pistachios (not salted)
Preheat the oven to 325°E Line 2 cookie sheets with baking parchment. Sprinkle the vodka over the cranberries and set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix with electric beater just until blended. Add the eggs, egg whites, vanilla extract, and orange zest or extract and beat on low speed until the dough just comes together. Fold in the cranberries with their vodka and the pistachios by hand. Do not use mixer!
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 3 equal pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a log about 12 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Place two of the logs 4 inches apart on one of the prepared cookie sheets and the third log on the other.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the logs are firm to the touch and turn a light golden color. Remove from the oven and place cookie sheets on wire racks. Let them cool for 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Slide the baked logs onto a cutting board. Let the logs cool slightly. Using a long serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut sides down, on the cookie sheets. Do not crowd so that they will brown evenly.
Bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes on each side, until dry and toasted to a light golden color. Watch carefully so you don’t burn. Remove the biscotti to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
These keep well for 3 – 4 weeks and actually improve with a little age. Delicious dunked in coffee or our favorite – a glass of wine!
Yield: about 40 biscotti.
I hope you try your hand at biscotti this season. If you do, please share your tips and recipes with me!
- Vegan Gingerbread Biscotti (vegetarianventures.com)
- The third day of Pudbudder is here….. (pudbudder.wordpress.com)
- Triple Chocolate Cranberry Cashew Biscotti (myhealthyohana.wordpress.com)