Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day 7- Holiday Biscotti

These little biscotti are so photogenic. They're so pretty and so tasty and they're chock full of creamy white chocolate, crunchy pistachios and jewel toned cranberries.

I've never made biscotti before, but I am a pro at eating them :-) My favorite biscotti flavor is French Lavender from Jake's Natural Foods. The lavender is subtle and the candied lemon peel inside the biscotti is chewy and it's just so good! But these biscotti are different. They're more like dessert than they are for breakfast. The cookie itself isn't too sweet, but the half dunked part is.

These are the perfect treat for the holidays. The red and green make them festive, but change out the fruit and nuts to your liking. Almonds, dried cherries and dark chocolate would be good, or dried apricots, pecans and milk chocolate! Mmm, I'm gonna have to experiment.

Holiday Biscotti from Shawnda

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. Amaretto or almond extract
  • 1 cup shelled raw unsalted pistachios
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup high-quality white chocolate chips (for biscotti)
  • 8 oz high-quality white chocolate (for dipping)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, eggs, oil, and almond extract or Amaretto liquor in large bowl until well blended. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in pistachios, dried cranberries, and 3/4 cup chopped white chocolate by hand. Divide dough in half and form into two 12-inch-long strips on prepared baking sheet, spacing strips 3 inches apart. Using wet fingertips, shape each strip into 3-inch-wide log, pressing for even thickness. Logs may look slightly lumpy, but try to make the top as smooth as possible by pressing the cranberries and pistachios into the dough.

Bake logs until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Cool logs on sheet for a minimum of 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Carefully transfer logs to cutting board and slice about 1/2-3/4-inch thick. Place them back on the same baking sheet with parchment paper (I used the same sheet) standing biscotti upright, spacing about 1/4 inch apart, in 3 rows. Bake until pale golden (biscotti may be soft but will firm as they cool), about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet.

Line another large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place remaining chopped white chocolate in medium glass bowl. Microwave on a low temp for 30seconds at a time, until smooth. Dip one end or 1 side of each biscotti in chocolate; place on baking sheet. Chill until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.

**Makes 2-3 dozen**

NOTE: These can be made ahead of time. Arrange in single layer in airtight container and chill up to 5 days or freeze up to 2 weeks.

I cut mine at a slight angle to make them a bit longer. Also, I only got about 2 dozen biscotti from this recipe because I cut them about 3/4-1-inch wide. Any thinner and they would have crumbled. Allow the biscotti to cool COMPLETELY before cutting. This will help reduce the crumbs.

Also, with all my holiday baking, I ran out of vanilla. Gasp!!! And I lent my almond extract to my mom for her Thanksgiving pie baking, so I used Amaretto instead of almond extract. No wonder these biscotti were so good :-)

Merry Christmas Everyone! See you next year!


The Food Librarian said...

These look sooo delicious! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!! :)

missing_one said...

You're tempting me with all these sweets!!!
I've been good so far....

vanillasugarblog said...

hey chicklet! Happy Holiday!
just wanted to do a drive by helllllooooo!

OvenDelights said...

Hi Monica,
I have'nt really baked with white chocolate before. Can you suggest a brand for both the chips and melted chocolate? How can I tell if its a good quality?

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