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Friday, February 25, 2011

Cranberry, Almond, Orange Biscotti

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Ever since I made the pumpkin biscotti, I've been anxious to try another variety. In fact, I have my eye on some decadent looking s'mores biscotti or double dipped chocolate biscotti recipes that you will certainly find on The Sweets Life one of these days. However, Ryan's been complaining about the amount of dessert in our house lately (never a problem, in my opinion!), so I knew the words double chocolate weren't going to fly.

I chose to make Cranberry, Almond, Orange Biscotti, knowing Ryan would focus on the words cranberry and orange (one of his favorite combinations) and approve of this baking endeavor. (Don't tell Ryan biscotti is just another word for cookie!!) My suspicious were correct, the boy loved these and finished off six in an evening.

These are crunchier than the pumpkin biscotti, but not "break your tooth" crunchy. To soften them up, dip them in your coffee or hot chocolate. I preferred to make a mess of crumbs when I ate them. Ryan's an active member of the Crumb Police, shaking his head at my sometimes messy eating skills. But this time? This time he was so busy eating his own biscotti he didn't even notice! Success!

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Cranberry, Almond, Orange Biscotti
adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 cup sugar
-4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
-2 large eggs
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp almond extract
-1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-2 tbsp orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy (3-6 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in the extracts and beat for 30 seconds.
3. With mixer speed on low, gradually add flour mixture until combined. Mix in almonds, cranberries, and orange zest.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using floured hands, split the dough in half and shape each half into an approximate 2 x 13 inch loaf on the parchment paper. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack.
5. Remove sheet from oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325F.
6. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice each loaf into 1/2-inch slices. Lay the slices on a baking sheet.
7. Bake biscotti slices for 15 minutes, flipping the slices over halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving (approximately 30 minutes).
**Biscotti can be stored in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.