Monday, December 12, 2011

Biscotti means "twice baked"!

I like to Google. I like to spoil my friends. Jeramy sat in my living room last week while I struggled to decide what Christmas treats I should make for my friends this year. The thought came to me suddenly when I checked my email. A new Food Network 12 Days of Cookies post? By Giada DeLaurentis?! Biscotti. Bingo! The problem? The recipe sounded quite bland. So I kept Googling biscotti recipes and found a few that I liked. I hate feeling torn! Especially when it comes to food. It seems like a crime to say "I'm sorry recipe, but you lack vanilla extract, therefore you are sub par". So I did what I do best and combined all my favorite ingredients from all the recipes I liked best! Here's the recipe for the biscotti if anyone wants to try them sometime. It's super easy but a little time consuming:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • chocolate or white chocolate almond bark

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray.

Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. cream together the sugar, butter, extracts, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat gradually just until blended. Stir in the almonds and cranberries. (By this point, the dough smells like an amazingly almondy bread!)

Divide the dough in half and form into 2 rectangles on the baking sheet. They should be about 1/2 an inch tall, 4 inches wide and 12 inches long. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board and using a sharp serrated knife, cut the logs diagonally into 1/2 inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 10 minutes per side. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely. And now you start to drool.

Melt the Almond bark according to the directions on the bag and dip the biscotti however you want. Let the chocolate set on a cookie sheet with wax paper and enjoy them with a creamy cup of hot choclate!

I decided to put 2 biscotti in a little plastic bag with a bag of hot cocoa mix, put that in mugs with a candy cane and gave them to my friends. Spreading a little cheer on finals week. Good luck friends!

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