1 biscotti 2 biscotti

I love biscotti. There is something so unique about the idea. Is it a cookie? Is it really socially acceptable to eat these before 9am? Thank heavens the answer is yes. Not too sweet and iconically shaped, biscotti are ridiculous dipped in a cup of coffee and the variations are endless. I debated about dipping them in chocolate (okay, so the debate was very very short) and decided that as long as I was bringing them to church bright and early and sat them next to the eggs and sausage, I could stick them on ice cream and drizzle them with chocolate syrup and they’d count as breakfast. But seriously, they aren’t too sweet and the chocolate adds a touch of glamour and melts perfectly with a hot drink on a cold day. I did this recipe two ways—white chocolate cranberry pistachio and dark chocolate cherry almond. They are from the same basic recipe which allows the imagination to take over for future delectable combinations. Both turned out crisp but not too crumbly, perfect in my book (I got a lot of “did you really MAKE these??”). And it was a fun experience learning how to get that biscotti shape and crunch (warning: you do have to bake them several times so be patient, it’s not that bad).

cranberry pistachio biscotti with white chocolate
from martha stewart

½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup boiling water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
2  teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
coarse sanding sugar and white chocolate if desired
  •  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place cranberries in a small bowl; add boiling water. Let stand until plump, about 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in cranberries and pistachios.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each piece into a 16-by-2-inch log, and transfer to prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, flatten logs slightly. Brush beaten egg over surface of the dough logs, and sprinkle generously with sugar.
  • Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until logs are slightly firm to touch, about 25 minutes. Transfer logs on parchment paper to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  • Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on rack. Bake until firm to touch, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on rack. Biscotti can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • If you are dipping these, I suggest using Wilton’s melting wafers in vanilla. They melt easy (microwave per the instructions) and stay melted. After the chocolate is melted, spread into a large rectangular blog on a small plate so you can easily fit a biscotti onto the dimensions. Simply dip the bottom of each biscotti in the chocolate, lift straight up and lightly drag the back of a butter knife across the surface to smooth for a professional look and to remove any excess. Lay on a cooling rack on their sides to cool.
cherry almond biscotti with dark chocolate
also from Martha Stewart
1 3/4 cups dried cherries
½ cup amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur), plus more if needed
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon coarse salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs (3 whole, 1 lightly beaten)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds, chopped
coarse sanding sugar & dark chocolate if desired
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat cherries and liqueur in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cherries have softened, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. If liquid equals less than 2 tablespoons, add enough liqueur to make 2 tablespoons.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in 3 whole eggs, one at a time. Mix in reserved cherry liquid and the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in cherries and almonds.
  • On a lightly floured surface, halve dough. Shape each half into a 12 1/2 by 2 1/2-inch log. Flatten logs to 1/2 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. Brush logs with beaten egg; sprinkle with the sanding sugar.
  • Bake 35 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks to cool, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  • Cut each log on the diagonal into 16 to 18 pieces. Transfer pieces to racks, laying them on sides. Set racks on baking sheets. Bake 8 minutes; flip. Bake 8 minutes more. Let cool until crisp. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.
  • If you are dipping these, I suggest using Wilton’s melting wafers in dark cocoa. They melt easy (microwave per the instructions) and stay melted. After the chocolate is melted, spread into a large rectangular blog on a small plate so you can easily fit a biscotti onto the dimensions. Simply dip the bottom of each biscotti in the chocolate, lift straight up and lightly drag the back of a butter knife across the surface to smooth for a professional look and to remove any excess. Lay on a cooling rack on their sides to cool.

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