Biscotti. I’m not a huge fan in general. Unless I’m in Italy, of course. Everything tastes better in Italy, but I digress. I find that North American biscotti is either hard, crumbly and tasteless or too soft like a traditional cookie. I’m also not the hugest fan of white chocolate, but there’s something about the combination of dried cranberries, almond extract and WHITE chocolate. It just works.
This is the best biscotti I’ve ever tasted. Since I started making it 4 or 5 years ago I get requests for it, inquiries into it, not so subtle hints about whether or not the biscotti will be making an appearance this year. Well, I made some today for my dads 76th birthday. He’s one of the “askers” so I thought it would make a nice present. I’ll probably make 3 more batches, plus my usual staple of sugar cookies and savory shortbread (2 varieties.)
The best part???? It’s so easy! And if you want to give it as a gift it looks store bought professional. Usually I dip one end of the biscotti into the white chocolate but I’m conserving a bit (due to the fact that I have to make my block of Callebaut last!)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
- 1 egg white
- 6 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker’s), chopped, or white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper (I forgot to do that today, just used the Silpat.) Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend. ***If I use salted butter I don’t add the extra salt.
Using electric mixer (my brand spanking new Kitchenaid!) beat sugar, butter, eggs and almond extract in large bowl until well blended. Mix in flour mixture, then dried cranberries. Divide dough in half.
Using floured hands (I didn’t flour my hands, it was fine) shape each piece into 2 1/2-inch-wide, 9 1/2-inch-long, 1-inch-high log. Transfer both logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly. Whisk egg white in small bowl until foamy; brush egg white glaze on top and sides of each log. ***I almost always forget the egg white step. It’s not necessary, but it DOES make the finished product look better.
Bake logs until golden brown (logs will spread), about 35 minutes. Cool completely on sheet on rack. *** Because I forgot the parchment paper it was rather, um, challenging to transfer over the logs… I broke one in half by accident.
Maintain oven temperature. Transfer logs to work surface. Discard parchment. Using serrated knife ( I use a non serrated crazy sharp Japanese butcher knife), cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on same sheet. Bake 10 minutes; turn biscotti over. Bake until just beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Transfer biscotti to rack.
Stir chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water until smooth. Remove from over water. Using fork, drizzle chocolate over biscotti. Let stand until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Freeze in airtight container. Thaw at room temperature.)